The Dentist Who Killed Cecil Speaks Out
“I have no problem with him taking a lion or giraffe, that’s his own business”, said Rice (30).
Dr. Thomas Dressel, a retired plastic surgeon, said he went in person to the office to make an appointment after failing to reach it by telephone.
“I’ve been out of the public eye”, he stated.
“We still have a security camera out in the lot there”, Bloomington Police Deputy Chief Mike Hartley told the AP and Star Tribune.
Walter Palmer, the Minnesota-based dentist who provoked global outrage and derision when he hunted and killed one of Africa’s most beloved lions, returned to work Tuesday while throngs of protestors lined up outside his office, shouting, “Murderer!”
To say Cecil’s death made the dentist a wanted man is putting it mildly.
While Palmer’s guides on the hunt have either been charged or await charges for their involvement in Cecil’s killing, the Zimbabwean government’s pursuit of the dentist has cooled off amid fears it could hamper a hunting industry that is lucrative and important for the country.
A group of half a dozen protesters remained on the sidewalk more than an hour after Palmer entered, holding signs calling for his extradition to Zimbabwe to face punishment.
Cathy Pierce, wearing a shirt with Cecil’s photo, yelled “Extradite Palmer” as the dentist was whisked inside the Bloomington clinic.
“I’m a health professional”, Palmer said during the interview.
Palmer participated in an interview Sunday, September 6, in which he disputed some accounts of the hunt, expressed agitation at the animosity directed at those close to him and said he would be back at work within days.
Police has blocked off the area around a Minnesota dental clinic as the dentist who killed Cecil the lion prepares to return to work.
But he did break his silence this past weekend, speaking with reporters from The Associated Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune for the first time since he was publicly identified as Cecil’s killer, sparking a worldwide outcry.
Dressel said he trusts Palmer’s insistence that the hunt was legal and that he had no idea he was tracking a famous lion.
Cecil the lion was allegedly lured with bait out of a national park in Zimbabwe – where he is protected by law – to private property where Palmer then shot him with his compound bow and arrow. Oxford University scientists said that Cecil’s fate was not unique; of the 62 lions they had tagged in the region, sport hunters had killed 24.