Dentist who killed Cecil the lion faces protesters as he returns to work at his surgery

The dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe faced protesters outside his surgery today as he returned to work in the US.

Walter Palmer arrived at his surgery in Bloomington, Minnesota, to shouts from crowds gathered outside holding banners and calling for him to be extradited.

The 55-year-old, who closed the surgery in July after the storm that erupted around his killing of the lion, maintains that he acted legally.

Protesters outside Walter Palmer's surgery Credit: RTV

He has also insisted he was stunned to find out Cecil was one of Zimbabwe's most treasured creatures.

Palmer allegedly paid guides $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil - not knowing he was a local favourite Credit: Paula French/Zuma Press/Press Association Images

In an interview on Monday, 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."

Palmer has not been charged with any crime in Zimbabwe, despite calls for him to be prosecuted.

Walter Palmer denies he did anything illegal by killing Cecil the Lion.

Asked whether he would return to the country to hunt again, he said: "I don't know", before adding: "Zimbabwe has been a wonderful country for me to hunt in, and I have always followed the laws."

He said he now feels safe enough to return to work, stating: "My staff and my patients support me and they want me back."