Minnesota dentist says he regrets lion's death, but thought hunt was legal

A Minnesota dentist who caused an international uproar when he reportedly paid $55,000 to kill Cecil, an iconic lion in Zimbabwe, issued a statement late Tuesday saying he regretted the animal's death, but thought he was acting legally.

Walter Palmer, who was included in a 2009 New York Times feature on big game hunting, said that he had "hired several professional guides, and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled."

Palmer, who lives in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie and practices in nearby Bloomington, went on to say that he "had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared