The Minnesota dentist who hunted and killed Cecil the Lion returned to work Tuesday, after weeks away from his practice.
The New York Times reports that Walter Palmer made his way through media and protesters, and reopened his practice, after staying out of the public eye since he was named as the lion’s killer, back in July.
Demonstrations began outside the practice around sunrise Tuesday, when Palmer was escorted into the building by a security officer. The door of the office was plastered with signs that read messages such as “Justice for Cecil” and “May You Never Hunt Again.”
When Palmer was named as the killer, hundreds gathered in vigils, for the lion slain in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. The demonstrations forced River Bluff Dental to close its doors.
Fewer protesters were present when Palmer returned to work. One protester, Cathy Pierce, drove an hour to the dentist’s practice, with the intention of “fighting for animals that can’t fight for themselves.” In an interview with AP, she stated, “We’re not picking on his staff or his family. We’re picking on him. We want him to know that we’re not going to forget.”
The guides that took Palmer on the hunting trip are pending charges, however the potential strain on the lucrative Zimbabwean hunting industry, has calmed their government’s pursuit of Palmer. A month has passed since Zimbabwean officials have announced that they would process paperwork necessary to extradite Palmer. As of Monday, no developments have been made.
Authorities say Cecil the Lion was lured out of a protected wildlife preserve. The lion was tracked by Palmer and locally hired guides, before he was killed by an arrow.
Joe Friedberg, a lawyer currently advising Palmer, said “There haven’t been any official allegations by anybody that he has done anything wrong.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Fish and Wildlife stated that there have been no updates in the case, but an investigation in regards to Palmer’s involvement, continues.