Despite rumors, Cecil the lion’s brother Jericho ‘is not dead’

It was earlier reported that Cecil’s brother Jericho was shot dead soon after world mourned the sibling’s death

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Reports that a brother of Cecil the lion, Zimbabwe's best known lion who was hunted down last week, had also been killed on Saturday were untrue, a field researcher told Reuters news agency.

The name of the second lion that has been killed has not yet been announced.

A source at the national parks agency, who is not authorized to speak to the media, said a foreign hunter, whose nationality he did not disclose, killed the second lion illegally on July 3.

The hunter had since left Zimbabwe, but police had recovered the lion's head and carcass.

Earlier on Saturday, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) said on Facebook that Cecil’s brother, Jericho, was shot on Saturday at 4 p.m. “We are absolutely heart broken,” the statement said.

“I think this type of misinformation is characteristic of that particular source,” field researcher at Hwange Lion Research, Brent Stapelkamp, told the Guardian.

But the news rekindled the fury of animal lovers that was sparked by American dentist Walter Palmer who admitted hunting down the Cecil the lion on July 1.

Recently, Zimbabwe has also suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area where Cecil, a lion popular with tourists was killed, and is investigating the killing of another lion in April that may have been illegal, the country’s wildlife authority said Saturday.

The announcement follows an international outcry stemming from an American hunter’s killing Cecil that was allegedly was lured out of a national park.

Zimbabwean authorities say the hunt was illegal and are seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer.

(With AP and Reuters)

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