The dental practice of the Cecil the Lion hunter has reopened, it announced on Twitter on 17 August. The Bloomington, Minnesota dental practice said dentist Walter Palmer is not on site, following the controversial hunting incident.
In a tweet early on 17 August, River Bluff Dental released the following statement:
Today, River Bluff Dental employees and dentists are beginning to serve our loyal patients. Dr Palmer is not on site. Our employees have no comment. The media has already inquired at our homes, with our families however we have no comment and will not entertain your questions or interview requests. We are dental professionals committed to serve our patients and clients. Our office is private property, we ask the press to stay off the property and respect the peace of mind of our patients and clients.
According to Reuters, Palmer's dental office has been closed since late July following a severe backlash against Palmer for the killing of the well-known lion in Zimbabwe. NBC News reported that the practice's Yelp page was inundated with angry reviews.
Palmer is being criticised for killing Cecil without the proper permits, with one official in Zimbabwe threatening to extradite the dentist for the hunt, NBC News reported. Despite the criticism, Palmer maintains he relied on hunting guides in the country to participate in a legal hunt.
The controversial dentist reportedly paid two tour guides $55,000 to go on a lion hunt. He allegedly hit the popular lion with a crossbow before shooting him dead.
The Associated Press reported that people were seen going in and coming out of the dental practice. However, a security guard stationed outside of the office refused to answer questions and asked the AP to leave.
The practice's aversion to reporters appeared to ramp up over the weekend following a report on ABC's 20/20. On 15 August, the office tweeted, "#ABC2020 is the worst show on television."
Earlier last week, River Bluff Dental tweeted that the practice was "still closed even though people care less and less about #CecilTheLion day after day. Fickle people."