Jericho, Cecil the lion’s brother, killed


The brother of slain Cecil the lion, whose death sparked widespread outrage this week, was killed by a hunter on Saturday in Zimbabwe, a local conservation group said.
“I’m very disappointed. I’m heartbroken,” Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Chairman, Johnny Rodrigues, told USA TODAY about the death of the lion named Jericho. “It’s just too much.”
The news comes after Cecil was shot with a bow and arrow before being tracked and killed early last month by Minnesota hunter and dentist, Walter Palmer, who allegedly paid $50,000 to hunt him.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in contact with Palmer on Friday about the lion’s death, which is suspected to be illegal.
No formal charges have been filed, but the investigation is ongoing.
Zimbabwe wants to extradite Palmer, Environmental Minister Oppah Muchinguri said earlier this week.
Currently, the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation.
However, if the wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice, which means Palmer could be tried in the U.S.
A beloved Zimbabwean cultural figure, Cecil was fitted with a GPS tracker by a research programme from the University of Oxford to trace its movements throughout Hwange National Park.
Fear remains for Cecil’s cubs, whom Jericho had been seen protecting.
Male lions commonly kill the cubs of their rivals when they take over a pride.
“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,” Oxford’s David Macdonald said in a statement on Thursday.


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