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COPY-UPDATE: Dentist in Cecil the lion hunt returns to work

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota dentist at the center of an uproar over the killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe has returned to his clinic after weeks out of the public eye.

Walter Palmer entered his Bloomington clinic at about 7 a.m. Tuesday without a word to media gathered outside. He parked nearby and walked to his clinic from the street. A staff member met him on the sidewalk, grabbed his arm and parted a throng of media to rush him to the front door.

Employees also have been escorting patients from their vehicles into Palmer's clinic.

Bloomington police are trying to minimize traffic congestion and no problems have been reported so far.

In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Palmer reiterated that his hunt was legal.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota dentist whose killing of Cecil the lion fueled a global backlash is disputing some accounts of the hunt as he gets ready to return to work.

In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune, Walter Palmer says he'll be back at his suburban Minneapolis dental practice Tuesday. He has spent more than a month out of sight after becoming the target of protests and threats.

He says he was surprised to learn his hunting party had killed one of Zimbabwe's treasured animals and says wouldn't have hunted Cecil had they known.

Cecil was a fixture in a vast national park and was part of Oxford University lion research.

Palmer is disputing conservationist accounts that the wounded lion wandered for 40 hours and was finished off with a gun, saying it was tracked down the next day and killed with an arrow.

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