Cecil The Lion’s Killer Says Animal Activists Have Made His Life A Misery

Walter Palmer caused outrage after he killed the famous beast during a poaching expedition in Zimbabwe in July.

Speaking for the first time since the incident, the US dentist showed little remorse for his actions and hit out at critics who forced him into hiding.

Palmer, 55, was adamant he followed “the proper procedures” and claimed the hunting party had no idea the lion was so special. He said: “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.

“Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.

“This has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter.

“They’ve been threatened in the social media. I don’t understand that level of humanity to come from people not involved at all.”

But Palmer, from Minnesota, did not rule out returning to Africa to add to his trophy collection. There was worldwide fury after pictures emerged of him with the skinned lion he shot with a crossbow arrow. Animal rights groups called for his extradition to Zimbabwe to face charges. Others sent death threats and protesters spent days gathered outside his dental practice.

But on Tuesday he said he would be returning to work the following day.

“I’m a health professional,” he said.

“I need to get back to my staff and my patients. I’m a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives.