A professional hunter and a land owner who helped a US tourist to kill Zimbabwe’s most famous lion have appeared in court .
Theo Bronkhorst was charged with failing to prevent an unlawful hunt. His co-accused will be charged later.
The death of the 13-year-old animal named Cecil has caused widespread revulsion at trophy hunting.
Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer who has left Zimbabwe, paid $50,000 to kill the lion, He has said he thought the hunt was legal but that he now regrets taking Cecil.
Like many countries, Zimbabwe issues annual permits that allow foreign hunters to kill wildlife such as elephant, buffalo and lion legally, arguing that the funds raised allow the government to fund conservation efforts.
It has however, been alleged the animal was lured outside the Hwange National Park where he lived and was then killed.
Cecil had been part of a research project by scientists from Oxford University and had been fitted with a GPS collar. The team now fear that his death will trigger a power struggle in the pride, resulting in the death of other male lions as well as Cecil’s offspring.
Meanwhile back in the US there have been protests outside Palmer’s, for now closed dental practice. He’s gone to ground after receiving abuse and threats on the internet.
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