Pictured: Dentist who killed Cecil the Lion returns to work after more than six weeks of protests and threats to his life Walter Palmer returned to his River Bluff Dental practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, Tuesday morning The suburban dental practice reopened in mid-August without him Palmer, 55, gave his first an interview over the weekend saying he was heartbroken by the way his staff have been treated by protesters The dentist claimed that had he known Cecil's importance, he would not have 'taken' it Also disputed accounts that the mortally wounded animal spent 40 hours wandering around before being finished off with a bullet Embattled Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer returned to work this morning for the first time since being identified as the hunter who killed a treasured lion in Zimbabwe in early July. Palmer, 55, appeared drawn as he marched past throngs of reporters and cameramen from the parking lot outside his dental practice in Bloomington. The dentist, dressed in a black polo shirt and grey slacks, with a bag slung over his shoulder, wore a stern expression on his face and remained silent as he was surrounded by members of the news media. Palmer’s practice, River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, officially reopened August 17, but the controversial doctor was nowhere to be found. Scroll down for video +4 First glimpse: A stern-looking Dr Walter Palmer is pictured walking towards the front door of his practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, Tuesday for the first time since being identifed as the hunter who killed Cecil the Lion +4 Media circus: Palmer is seen here surrounded by reporters and cameramen who converged on his office in anticipation of his return to work +4 Open for business: Palmer's practice, River Bluff Dental, reopened in mid-August without him Over the weekend, Palmer sat down for an interview with the Associated Press and the Minnesota Star Tribune, announcing that he will resume work Tuesday. 'I'm a health professional,' the 55-year-old dentist said. 'I need to get back to my staff an my patients, and they want me back. That's why I'm back.' Police in Bloomington said they plan to keep tabs on Palmer's office in case there are any disturbances, but no officers will be dispatched to provide protection. Palmer's killing of Cecil the lion sparked a global backlash and made him the target of protests and threats. In the weekend interview, he reiterated that he believes he acted legally and that he was stunned to find out his hunting party had killed one of Zimbabwe's most prized animals.