Monday 24 October 2016

Second American accused of killing Zimbabwe lion

Published 02/08/2015 | 19:38

Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe
Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe

Another American illegally hunted and killed a lion in Zimbabwe several months ago, officials say amid an international outcry over the US hunter accused of illegally killing a well-known lion named Cecil in early July.

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This American was identified as Jan Casimir Seski of Pennsylvania, by Zimbabwe's National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. It said Mr Seski killed the lion with a bow and arrow in April around Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

A Zimbabwean landowner, Headman Sibanda, was arrested and is helping police in the Seski case. He is a gynaecological oncologist.

He's also an active big-game hunter, according to safari outfitters and bow-hunting sites that have posted pictures of kills identifying "Dr Jan Seski" as the man standing next to killed animals including elephants, an impala, a kudu, a Nyala, a hippo and an ostrich.

National Parks spokeswoman Caroline Washaya Moyo said Dr Seski had provided his name and other identifying information for a government database when he came for the hunt.

"When hunters come into the country they fill a document stating their personal details, the amount they have paid for the hunt, the number of animals to be hunted, the species to be hunted and the area and period where that hunt is supposed to take place," she said. "The American conducted his hunt in an area where lion hunting is outlawed. The landowner who helped him with the hunt also did not have a have a quota for lion hunting."

Stewart Dorrington, who owns a game reserve in neighbouring South Africa where Dr Seski hunted several years ago, said the American seemed like a "perfect gentleman" and came on his own. Mr Dorrington, who operates Melorani Safaris in North West province, said he had not had any contact with Seski since 2012.

"He was a great guy," Mr Dorrington said. "Everything he did was perfectly legal and above board and a great help to our conservation efforts."

Zimbabwean authorities have said they will seek the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer, alleging he did not have authorisation to kill Cecil the lion a month ago. The lion was lured out of Hwange park and first wounded with a bow and arrow before being tracked down and shot, according to conservationists in Zimbabwe. Mr Palmer has said he relied on his professional guides to ensure his hunt was legal.

Two Zimbabwean citizens were arrested and face charges in the case in which Palmer has been implicated.

On Saturday, authorities suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the Hwange area. Bow and arrow hunts were also suspended. 

Press Association

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