There have been reports that the bother of Cecil the Lion, Jericho had been shot dead by poachers in Zimbabwe, but others believe it may have been be another lion.
Reports initially claimed that Jericho had been killed in Huwange National Park on Saturday afternoon.
Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, had allegedly said: “It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Jericho was shot dead at 4pm this afternoon, We are absolutely heartbroken. We have no further details but will advise as soon as we know more.”
However a team of conservationists from Oxford University are saying Jericho’s death has not been confirmed
A report from Kfor says: The brother of slain Cecil the lion, named Jericho, still appears to be ‘alive and well’ after false reports of the lion’s illegal killing.
CNN first reported that Jericho was killed Saturday in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
That information came from a senior park official, according to CNN.
According to a Reuters source, who is a lion researcher, the GPS signal on Jericho indicates he is doing just fine.
Friends of Hwange Trust, which provides water for the park’s animals have also said the report of Jericho’s shooting appeared to be untrue, adding that researchers would be out on Sunday morning to look for him.
Following the outrage over he death of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s wildlife authorities had just banned the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in a part of the country frequently used by hunters.
It is believed that Jericho had been taking care of Cecil’s cubs after he had been killed by Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer
The Mail Online report:
Before his death there had been concerns Jericho would not be able to hold the territory of Cecil’s cubs alone and could be chased away by rival lions.
Unprotected, the lionesses and cubs are now under threat and also move away or be killed.
Last week Mr Rodrigues, told the Daily Mail Online Jericho was keeping the cubs safe from any rival males.
When contacted on Saturday a woman who answered the phone said he was too devastated to speak.
Palmer has admitted killing the 13-year-old predator Cecil, who was fitted with a GPS collar as part of the Oxford University study.
He allegedly paid $55,000 to shoot the majestic creature with a bow and arrow after allegedly luring him away from his habitat with meat.
But he said in a statement he had hired professional guides and believed all the necessary hunting permits were in order.
He has not been sighted since his identity was revealed by Zimbabwean conservationists earlier this week.
Zimbabwe has called for Palmer to be extradited from the United States after accusing him of killing the much-loved animal illegally.
Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said the dentist should be handed over to Zimbabwean officials to face justice, adding that she understood prosecutors had started the legal process to make that happen.
The White House said it would review a public petition calling for Palmer to be extradited after more than 100,000 people signed it .
A massive petition that was also launched in the United States trying to force the government to classify lions as an endangered species and ban the import of hunting trophies, has received over a million signatures.
The decision will be made by the US fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), who decide whether a species is considered endangered and whether its trophies can be imported legally to the US