Cecil the lion
Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Cecil the Lion's hunter to return to work

>> Read: 7 things from interview with dentist who killed Cecil

Walter Palmer ended his silence Sunday, saying he will be back working as a dentist in Bloomington, Minnesota starting Tuesday.

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In his first interview since he killed the lion in early July, Palmer stood by his claim that the hunt was legal and that the hunting party he was part of did not know that the lion he hunted was Cecil, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

"Everything was done properly," Palmer's adviser, attorney Joe Friedberg said. "This was a legal hunt for a lion in Zimbabwe. And because of the professionalism of the people who he had to help him, a lion was taken."

Palmer has not been charged with any crime, and he did not say if he would agree to either informal or formal extradition proceedings to travel to Zimbabwe to answer legal allegations, The Star Tribune reported.

Palmer said he wounded the lion with a compound bow, tracked it and killed it with another arrow in less time than the 40 hours many news accounts and conservationists cited.

"Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion," Palmer said.

Cecil had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of Oxford University lion research, The Associated Press reported.

Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter who helped Palmer, was charged with failure to prevent an illegal hunt. Honest Ndlovu, who owns property near the animal sanctuary in Hwange National Park, faces a charge of allowing the hunt to happen on his farm without proper authority, the AP reported.

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