Walter Palmer's dental office reopens – but reportedly without him

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River Bluff Dental is open again.

The Bloomington office, where Dr. Walter Palmer did business, had been closed since late July due to intense international backlash over his role in the slaying of Cecil the lion.

River Bluff Dental released a statement, which was circulated on social media. It says the 55-year-old Palmer is not on site, and asks people to respect the patients and workers. Here's the statement, posted by WCCO's Guy Still:

The clinic was the site of protests in the days following the news of Palmer's admitted involvement.

BBC Washington’s Gary O’Donoghue reported several protesters pinned signs to the office’s front entrance, including those saying: “Rot in Hell,” “Walter Palmer – The Butcher of Bloomington,” and “Palmer, there’s a deep cavity waiting for you.”

Others carried placards saying “Killer,” among other things, including one calling for his extradition to Zimbabwe. His vacation home in Florida was also vandalized.

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Palmer himself has not yet been charged with a crime, but the country of Zimbabwe – where Cecil was killed – is seeking his extradition. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also said it's investigating.

In an earlier statement, Palmer said he “deeply regrets” his role in the animal’s killing, saying he believed he was taking part in a legal hunt.

Since then, Palmer has essentially been in hiding. On Monday, The Telegraph (based in the United Kingdom) published what it says are the first photos of the dentist since the allegations broke.

Last week, ABC's "20/20" program took a lengthy look at the Cecil the lion saga, digging into Palmer's history. You can watch the full episode here.

The Star Tribune published a story Sunday night about Palmer's habits with his private hunting land in Clay County, Minnesota.

According to the paper, Palmer was very protective of the 900 acres he owns, accusing others of trespassing on the land and getting into frequent territorial disagreements with neighbors.

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