Updated Tuesday, 4:10 p.m.:
Dr. Walter Palmer released the following statement to The Star Tribune:
"In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.
"I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.
"I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have.
"Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."
The hunter has become the hunted. Since the Telegraph identified Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, as the poacher who allegedly killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in early July, the Internet has responded with a massive outpouring of ire, brutal reviews of his dental practice and a cavalcade of online threats.
Within an hour of the Telegraph’s report Tuesday, death threats appeared on Twitter and, soon after, on a new Facebook page called "Shame Lion Killer Dr. Walter Palmer and River Bluff Dental," which had more than 1,000 likes as of early Tuesday afternoon. Palmer's name trended worldwide on Twitter, and many of the posts on Facebook are calling for him to be held accountable and imprisoned.
I will offer $5000 to anyone who takes a bow & arrow to Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Africa for sport.
— Sports Afficianado (@SportsMofo) July 28, 2015
— cait churchill (@violetcc) July 28, 2015
Truly. I'd put a cross bow bolt through Walter Palmer then track him from 40 hrs, shoot him, behead him, skin him and sleep peacefully.
— hardeep singh kohli (@misterhsk) July 28, 2015
"This scumbag should be shot with a bow and arrow, chased for 40 hours, and ultimately beheaded," one commenter on the Facebook page wrote.
The Yelp page for River Bluff Dental, where Palmer works, has been flooded with negative reviews. There are now more than seven pages of one-star reviews, whereas before Tuesday there were only four reviews. Most reviews are calling for people to avoid his business.
“Apparently this dentist enjoys killing God’s beautiful creatures,” one review said. “In my mind, any man who kills a defenseless animal lacks empathy and compassion. Two things that I would look for in a dentist.”
"Please put this soulless quack out of business," read another review.
International Business Times reached out to River Bluff Dental for comment, but there was no answer and the voice mailbox was full. A local reporter said the business appeared to be closed Tuesday.
Dental practice belonging to controversial big game hunter Walter Palmer completely locked down. All shades drawn. pic.twitter.com/opvzJp8ea9
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) July 28, 2015
According to the Telegraph, Palmer paid about $55,000 to shoot and kill Cecil, who was lured out of Zimbabwe’s Hwang National Park for the act. It is illegal for an animal to be killed inside the park. Cecil was apparently a big tourist attraction and beloved by most park visitors; however, a hunter told the Telegraph that the party didn't know Cecil was well-known.
Walter Palmer not only killed an endangered animal but stole a cultural relic and tourist attraction of Zimbabwe. Shameful
— Maya Takahashi (@la_colamaya) July 28, 2015