Walter Palmer of Bloomington, Minnesota, just might be the most reviled dentist in the world at the moment. After being identified by the Telegraph as the big-game hunter who illegally shot a protected lion in Africa, Palmer has issued a statement blaming his guides, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “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," says Palmer in a statement. "I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.” Palmer's whereabouts were unknown today, and his office appears to have been shut quickly, judging by one patient who showed up only to learn it was closed.
Palmer, who has a conviction for poaching a bear in the US, promised to cooperate with authorities in Zimbabwe, where the safari took place. In the meantime, he's become Public Enemy No. 1 on the Internet, with death threats and criticism consuming any public pages affiliated with him or his dentistry, notes BuzzFeed. “I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” says Palmer's statement. (Read more lion stories.)