The following statement was issued by Eden Prairie dentist Walter Palmer on Tuesday regarding the allegations that he illegally killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe on July 1.

Statement of Dr. Walter Palmer
July 28, 2015

"In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.

"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. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.

"I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have.

"Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."

Read more:

U.S. authorities to assist Zimbabwe's investigation

What we know about Walter Palmer

Longtime acquaintance defends lion hunter as 'very bright, honorable guy'

Minnesota dentist thought he was acting legally at lion hunt