Dentist Walter Palmer, who remains under fire for the death of Cecil the Lion, returned to work Tuesday morning to protests. Upon his arrival at the suburban Minneapolis office, Palmer was flanked by reporters and police escorts as he walked by a group of angry sign-holders. This spectacle was unavoidable, considering how Walter dropped out of sight for more than a month. He then announced his return to work in an interview that dropped Monday at the stroke of midnight. These protesters had the entirety of Labor Day to draw signs and plan for his arrival.
As you can see, the mob decorated Palmer’s office door with stuffed lions, bears, elephants, and signage that promised “a deep cavity waiting” for him.
All of this sounds very dramatic, but the Hollywood Reporter says police also had time to prepare for this occasion. They blocked off a large area around the clinic to prevent a huge crowd from forming. Only a small gathering made it through the traffic barricades, and it sounds like some of them parked in the surrounding neighborhoods and made the trek to Palmer’s office:
Cathy Pierce, wearing a shirt with Cecil’s photo, yelled “Extradite Palmer” as the dentist was whisked inside the Bloomington clinic.
Stephanie Michaelis, a woman who lives near the clinic, came over to argue with protesters, telling them to leave Palmer alone. She said the uproar over Cecil’s death was overblown and that people should be more concerned about abortions and threats to human life.
Palmer still maintains that he relied upon the knowledge of local guides and did nothing illegal while hunting, tracking, and killing Cecil. Despite threats of extradition on behalf of the Zimbabwean government, no new developments have been made in the case.
Will Palmer’s dentistry practice recover? Protesters vandalized Palmer’s home a month ago, and it sounds like there would be more protesters at his clinic if police weren’t locking down the area. Patients are booked for appointments today, but whether they make it to the clinic is another story. A new patient named Thomas Dressel spoke to U.S. News about how he “trusts Palmer’s account of the hunt and wanted to offer a fellow medical professional some support.”
Here are a couple more photos from Tuesday morning’s protest outside Palmer’s office.