Thursday 8 December 2016

Cecil the lion: Brother Jericho is 'alive and well' despite reports, says pride researcher

MacDonald Dzirutwe

Published 01/08/2015 | 20:52

Cecil the lion
Cecil the lion

The brother of Cecil the lion is not dead, a researcher monitoring the pride has said.

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Media reports had indicated that Jericho had been shot dead by poachers, in a similar fate to his brother who was killed by dentist Walter Palmer.

A group called the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force posted on its Facebook  that the animal had been killed.

However, Brent Stapelkamp, a field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Park, denies this.

He said: "When I heard that report, I had a look on the computer and his movements seem regular. He sent a GPS point from his collar at 8:06pm (1806 GMT). Everything looks fine.

"He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell."

Following Cecil's death, it had been hoped that Jericho would be able to protect his surviving family. Professor David Macdonald, director of WildCru which monitors the lions, said many people had raised concerns about what will happen to the late lion’s children and said Jericho had stepped in.

“Many people ask about the fate of Cecil’s cubs – we are keeping watch," he said in a statement.

“As you probably know, the natural law in lion society is that when a male dies and his weakened coalition is usurped, the new incoming males kill their predecessors’ cubs.

“This may not happen because Cecil’s brother is still holding the fort."

Earlier on Saturday, Zimbabwe's parks authority imposed an indefinite ban on big game hunting outside the national park from which Cecil was lured before being killed on 1 July.

With additional reporting by Reuters

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