(CNN)Walter Palmer, the American dentist vilified worldwide for killing a prized African lion, broke his silence Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The 55-year-old dentist will return to his Bloomington, Minnesota, practice on Tuesday, he said. His practice reopened several weeks ago without him.
\"I have a lot of staff members, and I'm a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives,\" Palmer told the AP and Star Tribune. \"And I'm a health professional. I need to get back to my staff and my patients, and they want me back. That's why I'm back.\"
Palmer has kept a low profile in the six weeks since he was identified by British media as the big-game hunter who killed Cecil the lion with a compound bow near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Cecil was killed in early July.
\"I've been out of the public eye seeing family and friends,\" he said, denying he was in hiding.