Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho has been shot dead by poachers in a park in Zimbabwe.
The beloved animal was protecting Cecil’s lion cubs after he was shot dead by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer earlier this month – sparking outrage around the world.
Jericho is believed to have been gunned down during an illegal hunting operation in Hwange National Park on Saturday afternoon during.
Johnny Rodrigues – Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force – said in a statement: ‘It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Jericho was shot dead at 4pm this afternoon.
‘We are absolutely heartbroken. We have no further details but will advise as soon as we know more.’Before his death there had been concerns Jericho would not be able to hold the territory of Cecil’s cubs alone and could be chased away by rival lions.
Unprotected, the lionesses and cubs are now under threat and also move away or be killed.
(update:..(from ‘the guardian’..) ‘Despite reports that Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho had been shot dead by a poacher, a field researcher at Hwange Lion Research said on Saturday: ‘He looks alive and well’. Another conservation worker said the lion had been seen with a female earlier in the day ‘probably mating’…)
As Zimbabwe police say he faces poaching charges, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer faces furious criticism on social media.
Who shot Cecil? First it was thought that a mystery Spaniard had the blood of one of Africa’s most famous lions on his hands. Then came a fresh twist. The Cecil slayer – Zimbabwean conservations said on Tuesday – was in fact a dentist from Minnesota.
American Walter Palmer was said to be ‘quite upset’ as the hunter became hunted. Zimbabwean police warned that he faced poaching charges while there was a furious backlash on social media – with Facebook users variously calling for him to be publicly shamed – have his teeth pulled out without anaesthetic – or be hunted and killed.