Cecil The Lion
He lives in you, he lives in me. He watches over, everything we see.
Into the water, into the truth. In your reflection, He lives in you.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said US citizen Walter Palmer, from a small town near Minneapolis was thought to have paid $50,000 (£32,000) for the chance to kill Cecil.
The same company advertises trips to Africa, under the name Safari Connection. Photographs to advertise the company’s services show hunters posed next to elephants. Other expeditions show hunters posed next to polar bears amid snowy backdrops.
Two people who accompanied the hunter on his Zimbabwe trip were identified by authorities and arrested earlier this month, including Theo Bronkhorst, the founder of Bushman Safaris Zimbabwe which is believed to have organised the hunt. Both are facing poaching charges and due to appear in court in early August.
Zimbabwe National Parks confirmed the charges. “In this case, both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt,” it said in a statement. Bronkhorst’s hunting license has been suspended and efforts were being made to interview another employee of Bushman Safaris who was believed to have also taken part in the hunt.
The 13-year-old lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University research project that had been running since 1999, making it possible to trace his last movements. Rodrigues said the hunters tried to destroy the collar, but failed.
The death of Cecil comes as Zimbabwe, like many countries in Africa, attempts to crack down on illegal hunting and poaching, said Rodrigues. “This has been going on too long. Cecil is the 23 or 24th lion that has been collared and then killed in Hwange. We have to try and stop it.”
Initially his organisation had said the whereabouts of Cecil’s head was unknown, sparking concerns that it would be sent abroad as a trophy. The fear brought conservationists and politicians together this week to call on the European Union to ban the import of lion heads, paws and skins as hunters’ trophies from African countries that cannot prove their lion populations are sustainable.
Rodrigues said the head of the lion had been located in Zimbabwe and had been impounded to be used as evidence in the investigation.
The ZCTF said that it continued to mourn Cecil. Rodrigues pointed out that the hunter was believed to have paid just $50,000 to kill a creature that would have brought millions of dollars worth of tourism to the reserve.
Conservation authorities said they were also dealing with the likely consequences of Cecil’s death for his six cubs. “The saddest part of all is that now that Cecil is dead, the next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho, will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs so that he can insert his own bloodline into the females.”
Source: The Guardian