While the world is still mourning the loss of Cecil the lion, news circulated that his brother Jericho was killed yesterday by poachers hunting illegally in the park. However, Brent Stapelkamp, the Oxford University researcher tracking the lion, dismissed the erroneous reports of death and confirmed that Jericho is still alive and well. Oxford University tweeted a photo of Jericho earlier today as proof of life.
Experts worried that Jericho and Cecil’s cubs might be killed or run off by rival lions, but until now, Jericho had been defending the pride in the absence of his brother. Now, experts believe that Cecil’s cubs and lionesses are under threat once again. When news agencies attempted to contact Mr. Rodrigues for details today, an individual answering the phone reported that he was too devastated by the event to speak.
Cecil the lion was killed in early July by Walter Palmer. In the wake of that event, many are calling for the dentist to be extradited to Zimbabwe to face charges for killing the beloved lion, who Palmer claims he killed after obtaining the legal permits. While Palmer has made an apology for killing the Huwange National Park favorite, his actions have brought attention to the practice of big game hunting across the world. In response, Zimbabwe banned lion hunting until further notice.
UPDATE: South Africa wildlife expert Drew Abrahamson posted on his Facebook page that Jericho’s collar is still showing normal movement. Experts are unable to confirm or deny or whether Jericho was killed.
Cecil the lion with his pride image via Shutterstock