Thursday 8 December 2016

Second American accused of illegal lion hunt in Zimbabwe

Peta Thornycraft

Published 03/08/2015 | 02:30

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said that in future anyone hunting in the country's most iconic wildlife would need their permission
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said that in future anyone hunting in the country's most iconic wildlife would need their permission

A second American hunter was last night identified by the Zimbabwean authorities as having allegedly illegally killed a lion with a bow and arrow following the death of beloved Cecil, in a growing big game poaching investigation.

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The man, named by Zimbabwe's national parks authority as Jan Seski, a 68-year-old doctor from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, is said to have killed the unidentified lion in April.

Dr Seski, a gynaecological oncologist and surgeon and a member of the Alaska Bow Hunting Society, has been pictured online with a series of dead animals including elephants, hippos, zebras, ostriches and water buffalo.

Headman Sibanda, the professional hunter who accompanied Dr Seski, was arrested in the case and is now said to be helping police with their enquiries.

Dr Seski has made no public comment on the reports.

The disclosure was made as Zimbabwe announced a crackdown on all lion, leopard and elephant hunts in private conservancies.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said that in future anyone hunting in the country's most iconic wildlife would need their permission.

About 50 lions are killed each year, compared to around 70 before 2013, when reforms were introduced.

Louis Muller, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association, said he expected a drop-off in visitors after the public outcry about the shooting of Cecil (above) by the Minnesota-based dentist Dr Walter Palmer on July 1.

"We suspect the unfortunate incident may lead to tourists cancelling bookings to our part of Zimbabwe," he said. "This will hurt the wildlife community, both professional hunters and photographic safaris which will mean less income for conservation and anti-poaching operations."

Dr Palmer is believed to have paid $61,000 (€55,000) to shoot Cecil, who wore a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study, from a hide on a private conservancy 3km from the border of Hwange National Park. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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