UPDATE: Jericho, brother of Cecil The Lion, Confirmed Alive

UPDATE: A statement received by The Hollywood Reporter from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force chairman said: “I would like to sincerely apologize for my last report where I stated that Jericho had been killed. I have now discovered that he is alive and well. The cubs are also doing well.”

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The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force is reporting that the brother of Cecil the lion, Jericho, has been shot dead by hunters.

According to Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Jericho was gunned down inside the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe by a hunter operating illegally.

TZCF says Jericho had been caring for Cecil’s cubs since the alleged illegal hunting death of Cecil exactly one month ago.

UPDATE via Raw Story:

Multiple sources are now saying reports of Jericho’s death was a false alarm. Brent Stapelkamp of the Hwange Lion Research Project told the London Evening Standard that Jericho, who also wears a GPS tag, is moving around.

“He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell,” he told the Standard.

(source)

Zimbabwe Begins Process Of Requesting Extradition Of Walter Palmer Over Hunting Protected Lion

The government of Zimbabwe has begun the process of requesting the extradition of American dentist Walter Palmer in connection with the alleged illegal hunting of a protected lion in a Zimbabwe national park.

ABC News reports:

In the Zimbabwean government’s first official comment on the killing of Cecil the lion, the environment, water and climate minister lashed out at Walter James Palmer, accusing him even of trying to hurt Zimbabwe’s image.

“Unfortunately it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he had already absconded to his country of origin,” Oppah Muchinguri told a news conference. “We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he be made accountable.”

On Tuesday, Palmer issued a statement saying he relied on his guides to ensure the hunt was legal. Two Zimbabweans — a professional hunter and a farm owner — have been arrested in the killing of the lion, an act which has garnered worldwide condemnation.

“There has been an outcry,” Muchinguri said. “Almost 500,000 people are calling for his extradition and we need this support. We want him tried in Zimbabwe because he violated our laws.”

“I have already consulted with the authorities within the police force who are responsible for arresting the criminal. We have certain processes we have to follow,” Muchinguri said at the offices of the national parks and wildlife authority. “Police should take the first step to approach the prosecutor general who will approach the Americans. The processes have already started.”

In related news, a petition launched by LGBT activist Scott Wooledge requesting the extradition of Palmer by the US government has garnered over 173,000 signatures in just 3 days. The White House has announced it will officially respond to the petition.

Local Hunter Charged In Unlawful Hunt & Killing Of Cecil The Lion

The local hunter, Theo Brookhorst, who assisted Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer in hunting and killing Cecil the lion has been officially charged in Zimbabwe with “failing to supervise, control and take reasonable steps to prevent an unlawful hunt.”

After pleading not guilty and surrendering his passport, Bronkhorst posted $1,000 bail and agreed to return on August 5th for trial.

If found guilty, Bronkhorst faces a fine of $20,000 and up to 10 years in prison. Zimbabwe officials have not yet commented on possible additional charges for Walter Palmer.

(source)

Petition To Extradite Lion Killer Walter Palmer To Zimbabwe

LGBT activist Scott Wooledge launched the petition above at WhiteHouse.gov to urge Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch  to cooperate in extraditing Walter Palmer – now famous for killing national park lion Cecil in Zimbabwe – to face charges for illegal hunting.

Hit this link to sign. In only 24 hours the petition has almost 50,000 signatures. The White House has pledged to respond to every petition that reaches at least 100,000 signatures.

Jimmy Kimmel Slams American Dentist Walter Palmer Over Killing Of Cecil The Lion

Jimmy shares his thoughts (and gets a bit choked up) talking about the Minnesota dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion, a local favorite in a Zimbabwe national park.

“First of all, stop saying you ‘took’ the animal. You take aspirin. You killed the lion. You didn’t take it.

“The big question is, why are you shooting a lion in the first place? I mean, I’m honestly curious to know why a human being would feel compelled to do that? How is that fun?

“Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things that are stronger than you? If that’s the case they have a pill for that, it works great. Just stay home and swallow it and you save yourself a lifetime of being the most hated man in America who never advertised Jello pudding on television.”

If you’d like to donate to the wildlife preservation group who had previously been keeping track of the lion, please visit http://www.wildcru.org/

American Dentist Walter Palmer Kills National Park Lion In Zimbabwe

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer is caught in the middle of a social media shit storm as the Telegraph has reported that the American hunter hunted and killed a popular attraction, Cecil the lion, from a national park in Zimbabwe.

Conservation groups in Zimbabwe reacted angrily to the news that the 13-year-old animal had been killed: partly because the lion was known to visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, and partly because of the way in which he was killed. He was lured out of the national park and shot.

“As far as I understand, Walter believes that he might have shot that lion that has been referred to as Cecil,” a spokesman for Mr Palmer said.

During the hunt – which the organisers later admitted was badly carried out – Cecil was lured at night about half a mile out of the national park using bait, and then shot with a bow and arrow. The next day he was found wounded by the hunters and killed, before being beheaded and skinned.

Animals cannot be killed within the confines of the park. The hunters then removed his collar – further contravening park rules.

In 2008, court records show, he (Palmer) pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal wildlife officials concerning the exact location of the slaying of a black bear during a guided hunt in Wisconsin. He was sentenced to a year probation.

Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force’s Johnny Rodrigues gave this statement to The Guardian:

The hunt took place around 6 July. “They went hunting at night with a spotlight and they spotted Cecil,” Rodrigues said. “They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park and they scented an area about half a kilometre from the park.”

The hunter first shot at Cecil with a bow and arrow but failed to kill the lion. “They tracked him down and found him 40 hours later when they shot him with a gun,” Rodrigues said.

The 13-year-old lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University research project that had been running since 1999, making it possible to trace his last movements. Rodrigues said the hunters tried to destroy the collar, but failed.

Emmanuel Fundira, the president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, confirmed at a news conference that Dr. Palmer is wanted for the death of Cecil the lion, but that his whereabouts were unknown.

UPDATE: Walter Palmer issued the following statement today regarding the killing of Cecil:

“In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.

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

“I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have.

“Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”

A petition has been launched demanding justice for Cecil.