The Minnesota dentist emerged for the first time after the outrage and gave an interview to the Associated Press. In it Palmer said he will be going back to work. Palmer reiterated he believes he did nothing illegal and didn’t know the lion he killed was one of Zimbabwe’s most beloved animals. It seems Palmer still can’t figure out that the outrage is not about the possibility of his action being illegal, but it is entirely based on moral grounds. It is simply wrong to kill for fun.
Instead, Palmer 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 is again a very wrong way to put things, we believe.
Palmer goes on the defensive claiming some of the details about the killing of the lion are not entirely correct. He described himself as “heartbroken” for causing disruptions for staff at his clinic, which was shuttered for weeks until reopening in late August without him on the premises. And he said the ordeal has been especially hard on his wife and adult daughter, who both felt threatened. “I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all,” Palmer said. For that he is right though, you can’t right one wrong by doing another wrong. Threatening innocent people just because they are connected to him and even haven’t publicly claimed support for him is wrong.
As for himself, he said he feels safe enough to return to work – “My staff and my patients support me and they want me back” – but declined to say where he’s spent the last six weeks or describe security steps he has taken.
Some high-level Zimbabwean officials have called for Palmer’s extradition, but no formal steps toward getting the dentist to return to Zimbabwe have been publicly disclosed. Friedberg, a Minneapolis attorney who said he is acting as an unpaid consultant to Palmer, said he has heard nothing from authorities about domestic or international investigations since early August. So it seems this whole thing will end with no further action.