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Dentist who shot Cecil questions 'level of humanity' of his critics

The dentist defended his actions in his first ever interview.

THE US DENTIST who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe has questioned the humanity of his critics, in his first ever interview.

Walter Palmer told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “This has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter.

They’ve been threatened in the social media, and again … I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all.

Palmer reiterated what he previously stated in a press release, that he had no clue that Cecil was a popular attraction at the Hwange National Park.

11817262_478625112305491_4778486743951846488_n-2 Walter Palmer, left and another lion.

“Everything was done properly. This was a legal hunt for a lion in Zimbabwe.”

The 55-year-old from Minneapolis denied reports that he paid $50,000 to shoot Cecil, but did not say if the figure was more or less.

The dentist also said he plans to return to work on Tuesday morning:

I’m a health professional. I need to get back to my staff and my patients, and they want me back. That’s why I’m back.

He added, “I have a lot of staff members, and I’m a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives.”

Zimbabwe Lion Killed Protesters gather outside Dr. Walter James Palmer's dental office in Bloomington Source: AP/Press Association Images

The dentist said he has not been in hiding since the news broke in July, but that he has been keeping a low profile visiting friends and family.

Zimbabwean authorities have said they want Palmer extradited to face charges, but legal experts have raised doubts that this would happen for a suspected wildlife crime.

Attorney Joe Friedberg joined Palmer for the interview, saying he is an unpaid consultant to the dentist as Palmer “doesn’t need a lawyer” until a government makes a legal claim.

Read: American dentist who ‘paid $50,000 to kill a lion with a crossbow’ wanted by police>

Read: Dentist who shot Cecil didn’t know the lion was a “known, local favourite”>

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