Jericho is still alive

Aug 03, 2015, 00:36 IST | Agencies

Slain Zimbabwean lion Cecil’s supposed brother’s death is just a rumor, as authorities claim he is still alive and is doing well

Johannesburg: Researchers monitoring Jericho, supposedly the brother of Cecil the lion who was killed in Zimbabwe by an American hunter, have contradicted reports of his death and claimed that he is alive.

A 2012 picture of Cecil the lion, released by the Zimbabwe National Parks agency. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has said that he took 40 hours to die after he was shot at with an arrow. PICs/afp

Brent Stapelkamp, a field researcher at Hwange Lion Research has claimed that Jericho looks alive as per his knowledge. Curiosity around Jericho’s death was heightened after reports emerged stating that Jericho was tending to Cecil’s pups after his death.

According to other authorities monitoring Jericho, he seems to be fine. A team has been dispatched to look into the death of another lion that hadn’t been collared for surveillance and is said to have been killed. This lion’s death was misinterpreted as Jericho’s death.

Cecil became the centre of heated discussions on social media after reports of his brutal death surfaced last week. Animal lovers sent a wave of sympathies throughout social media to the beloved lion. The 13-year-old big cat was a popular tourist attraction in the Hwange National Park because of his distinctive black mane.

An American dentist named Walter Palmer killed Cecil whilst he was on a hunting expedition in Zimbawe. Palmer is accustomed to killing for game and frequently posts pictures of the animals he’s killed on social media. Palmer is said to have spent $50,000 (approximately Rs 31 lakh) on the hunting expedition where he killed Cecil after luring him outside the park’s boundaries using a bow and arrow.

Addressing his patients in an open letter, the dentist has also said that he had no idea that the lion he killed was “a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt”. He adds that he relied on the expertise of the local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.

This isn’t his first offence as he has been under official supervision for his hunting activities in the past. Palmer pleaded guilty in 2008 for lying about a black bear hunt in Wisconsin, for which he was fined and sentenced to a one-year probation.

Hunter says, 'I did nothing wrong'

Theo Bronkhorst, the professional Zimbabwean hunter who led the expedition to kill Cecil has said that he did nothing wrong on the hunt that killed the lion, adding he was shocked to find the animal was wearing a tracking collar.

Cecil’s image  is projected on the Empire State Building in New York.
In memoriam: Cecil’s image is projected on the Empire State Building in New York.

“I don’t believe I failed in any duties at all; I was engaged by a client to do a hunt for him and we shot an old male lion that I believed was past his breeding age. I don’t think that I’ve done anything wrong,” Bronkhorst said.

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