Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and hunter, announced plans to return to work in an interview with the Associated Press and StarTribune in Minneapolis, New York magazine reports.
The medical professional maintained his original stance he was unaware of Cecil's value to the Zimbabwean community and the University of Oxford scientists studying the lion via GPS collar.
If I'd have known this lion had a name and was that important to the country, or a study, obviously, I wouldn't have taken it. Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.
Contrary to reports saying Palmer was hiding out to avoid protesters and activists prior to his return to work Tuesday, the medical professional shared he was merely spending time with family.
I have a lot of staff members at River Bluff Dental. I'm a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives. And I'm a health professional. I need to get back to treating my patients. My staff and my patients support me and they want me back.
CBS and local news affiliates tweeted photos of Palmer's return this morning.
Dawn Stevens of Fox9 News tweeted a photo of protesters outside Palmer's practice.
Had Palmer been in hiding for the past two months, the infamous hunter may have stayed out of the public eye due to the vandalization of his Florida vacation home and the abuse of his wife and daughter by critics.
Palmer reportedly said,
They've been threatened. In the media, as well, and the social media… I don't understand that level of humanity, to come after people not involved at all.
Though charges have yet to be brought against Palmer, he had lawyer Joe Friedberg present for the interview.
Citations: Dentist Who Killed Cecil the Lion Insists He's Innocent, Heads Back to Work (New York magazine), Here's Walter Palmer, The Dentist Who Killed Cecil The Lion, Returning To Work After His Two-Month Hiatus (Bustle), Full transcript: Walter Palmer speaks about Cecil the lion controversy (Star Tribune)