Cecil the lion killer breaks silence

MINNESOTA - The US dentist who sparked an international outcry after killing a lion in Zimbabwe has said he did nothing wrong and is planning to return to work this week.

Speaking in his first interview since the July killing of Cecil the lion, Walter Palmer said he had been unaware of the animal's significance.

He also revealed that there had been "some safety issues" for his family.

Zimbabwean has said it wishes to extradite and prosecute Mr Palmer.

Walter Palmer faced a huge backlash online over his killing of Cecil the lion.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident, he told the Associated Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune that he had acted legally, but said that if he had known who the animal was he would not have killed it.

"If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn't have taken it," Mr Palmer said. "Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion."

The Minnesota dentist admitted that he wounded the lion with an arrow but denied that it had subsequently taken 40 hours to track down and kill it. He also denied claims by the Zimbabwean authorities that it had been killed by a gun, saying that an arrow had been used.

The 55-year-old is believed to have paid $50,000 (£32,000) to hunt a lion in Zimbabwe's largest game reserve.

Comments (3)

The First Lady said Palmer was not to blame. Now he is using her words to defend his actions. He got a hint from our own mother on what to say in his defence. It's there in the newspapers, she exonerated him. Whereto now? Who will safeguard our heritage when our own First Lady sides with the criminals? I'm beaten.

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

Palmer has a right to speak about this isssue, but most importantly he must have his day in court. The country's parks and wild life laws were violated. At this stage it has also not been disputed that he Palmer was behind the killer weapon. A Criminal proceedings must be instituted and a magistrate or judge have a final say in this matter. Its unfortunate under the current government "Mafia" activities are the order of the day. Grace left people homeless and rounded country's animals for herself. Comments by 1st lady on this issue only raises eyebrows for potential grease hands exchange knowing the current system. Just like the outlaw of land-mines as war fare weapons I think Cross bow should be outlawed too.

X-MAN IV - 7 September 2015

Praying that the great country of Zimbabwe will pursue Walter Palmer for his atrocity against your country with the killing of the national treasure, Cecil the lion. Palmer is out of hiding now, so NEEDS to be extradited to face charges by your government. I would never visit a country that would stand by and allow such a terrible act and loss to go unpursued in charges.

Sheryl Carey - 8 September 2015

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