United States dentist who has become the target of worldwide outrage for hunting and killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe has written to his patients to apologise for the disruption to services at his Minnesota clinic.
Walter James Palmer remained out of the public eye on Wednesday in the face of protests at his suburban Minneapolis clinic and intense condemnation online.
The lion’s death has provoked global outrage, forcing the practice where he worked to close and seeing people threaten to “hunt” Dr Palmer and kill him in revenge in a tide of online abuse.
Almost 300,000 people have also signed a petition to Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe demanding “justice” for Cecil and calling for hunting reforms.
A local charity claims Cecil took 40 hours to die after being shot by an arrow and was skinned and beheaded, with the head taken as a trophy for Dr Palmer.
Palmer has not appeared in public since being identified Tuesday as being involved in the lion’s death.
Two men have appeared in court in Zimbabwe over the killing of Cecil the lion, while the American dentist who paid to shoot him with a bow and arrow continues to deny any wrongdoing and a barrage of abuse and criticism.
The two appeared in court on allegations they helped Palmer kill the lion named Cecil.
The men were accused of aiding Palmer, who reportedly paid $50 000 to track and kill a lion.
Local hunter Theo Bronkhorst appeared in a court in Hwange, 800km west of Harare, and was charged with “failing to supervise, control and take reasonable steps to prevent an unlawful hunt”.