Cecil the lion's killer speaks out

  • 08/09/2015
Cecil the lion
Cecil the lion

By 3 News online staff

The American dentist who killed Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion has broken weeks of silence, announcing he intends to return to work this week.

Walter Palmer told the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Associated Press he had no clue that the lion they were hunting was the revered big cat.

"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."

The aftermath of the killing has been tough, especially for his family, but he says it's time to look forward and get back to his patients.

"I'm a health professional… my staff and my patients support me and they want me back. That's why I'm back. I'll be coming back this week."

Zimbabwe has asked the United States to extradite Palmer to face charges over the hunt.

"Zimbabwe has been a wonderful country for me to hunt in and I've always followed the laws for the country I'm in," Palmer says.

3 News