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Dentist who killed Zimbabwean lion Cecil returns to work to shouts of 'murderer'

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Cecil the Lion

Cecil the Lion

AP

Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe

Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe

AP

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Cecil the Lion

The Minnesota dentist who killed Zimbabwean lion Cecil, sparking a global outcry from animal lovers, returned to work on Tuesday at his suburban Minneapolis office to shouts of "murderer" and "leave town" from a half dozen protesters.

Walter Palmer, 55, arrived at about 7 a.m. CDT to the Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice that he shut down in late July amid a firestorm of protests after he was publicly identified as the hunter who killed the rare black-maned lion. It had reopened in the middle of August without him.

Walter Palmer was named in late July as the hunter who killed the revered animal.

In the following days, he received threats, was vilified online and his office was the site of protests.

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US dentist Walter Palmer is pictured with Cecil

US dentist Walter Palmer is pictured with Cecil

Cecil was brutally killed last week by an American dentist who paid an estimated $55,000 for the pleasure of shooting this endangered and majestic animal with a crossbow.

Cecil was brutally killed last week by an American dentist who paid an estimated $55,000 for the pleasure of shooting this endangered and majestic animal with a crossbow.

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US dentist Walter Palmer is pictured with Cecil

In an interview, Mr Palmer said he felt safe enough to return to work, adding that his staff and patients want him back.

Mr Palmer believes he acted legally and was stunned to learn his hunting party had killed a treasured animal.

Cecil was a fixture in the Hwange National Park and had a GPS collar as part of Oxford University research.

PA Media