Walter Palmer, Cecil The Lion's Killer, Paid Tour Guides $20,000 For Illegal Bear Hunt (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

This story contains graphic images

Graphic new images of a huge black bear illegally hunted by Cecil the lion's killer, Walter Palmer, have been released online.

The US dentist, who famously shot dead the beloved lion being studied by Oxford University last month, is reported to have paid guides at a Wisconsin National Park $20,000 (£12,812) to hush up the criminal slaughter.

Pictures of Palmer posing with the deceased animal, taken in 2006, show him dressed in camouflage gear knelt next to the bear's corpse.

Warning: Graphic photos

A second photo depicts the animal tied up and hanged by a noose, with Palmer standing next to it, smiling.

The third image to surface shows the body of Palmer's prey held up by officials.

The smiling Palmer was said to have had a permit to kill a single black bear in one particular Wisconsin region, but the animal he shot was allegedly 40 miles beyond the county line.

The trophy hunter pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding the hunt back in 2008, officials said - and was fined $3,000 and put on probation for a year as a result.

He was forced into hiding and close his dental practice because of the backlash from Cecil's death.

"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,” Palmer said in a statement last month.

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