Jericho, brother of Cecil the lion, was killed by a hunter on Saturday, confirmed the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force’s chairman, Johnny Rodrigues;
“I’m very disappointed, I’m heartbroken. It’s just too much.”
Cecil as you know was hunted, killed, skinned and beheaded by Minnesota hunter Walter Palmer on a trip to the country. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were in contact with the dentist yesterday about the lion’s death, which is suspected to be illegal. Zimbabwe is seeking to extradite Palmer. The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation, but if the Wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice and try him in the USA. A beloved Zimbabwean cultural figure, Cecil was fitted with a tracker by a research program from the University of Oxford to trace his movements throughout Hwange National Park. Fear still remains for Cecil’s cubs, who Jericho had been protecting in the park. (via USA Today)
UPDATE: Jericho is NOT dead, a researcher monitoring the pride told Reuters, contradicting media reports that Jericho the lion had been killed. Brent Stapelkamp, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project, which is monitoring the animal with a GPS tag.
“He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell.”
A group called the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force posted on its Facebook page that Jericho had been killed at 4 PM on Saturday. A furious reaction happened rapidly on social networks where animal lovers had already been expressing their fury.
Stapelkamp said readings from Jericho’s GPS tag indicated he was moving around as usual and appeared to be with a female.
“When I heard that report, I had a look on the computer and his movements look regular. He sent a GPS point from his collar from 8:06 p.m. GMT. Everything looks fine.”
That’s good news!