Within the span of a week, Walter Palmer has easily become the most despised dentist since Corbin Bernsen.

Earlier this month, on July 1, Palmer was in Africa indulging in his long-time hobby of hunting when he allegedly — and illegally — killed Cecil, a 13-year-old male lion who served as an unofficial mascot for the Hwange National Park, located in Zimbabwe.

Since the outing of Palmer’s identity by Zimbabwean authorities this week, the public outrage over his actions has been felt across the online and offline world. Palmer’s dentistry practice in Bloomington, Minn, has been inundated with negative Yelp reviews, angry posts on its Facebook page, and real-life protests that have shuttered its doors for the foreseeable future. Talk show hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and even his state’s governor, Mark Dayton (D), have loudly condemned his actions, and there is still the possibility that he will face criminal charges from the Zimbabwean government.

In light of that, Palmer earlier today issued his first somewhat public remarks on the incident, though a letter meant to be sent to his patients that was obtained by Minnesota news outlet, Fox 9.

“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,” Palmer wrote, according to Fox 9. “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.”

It was only because of the study, conducted by Oxford University researchers, that it became apparent that Cecil’s death was far from painless. Palmer, alongside the guides he hired, is believed to have lured Cecil away from the parameters of the park with a meat lure, right before he shot him with an arrow. The GPS tracker fitted in his collar showed that Cecil remained alive for forty hours before Palmer caught up to him again and ended his life with a bullet.

Though Palmer expressed “a deep regret” for killing Cecil — or rather that his responsible love of hunting “resulted in the taking of this lion” — Palmer only used the ‘A’ word in reference to his patients.

“The media interest in this matter — along with a substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general — has disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients,” Palmer wrote. “For that disruption, I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible.”

Two of the people believed to be involved in Cecil’s death, Theo Bronchorst and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, have already been arrested and were in court awaiting poaching charges this past Wednesday. Brochorst is a professional hunter and Ndlovu owns the land where the killing occurred. Palmer is believed to have paid the men $55,000 for the hunting opportunity.