Cecil the Lion’s brother Jericho is NOT dead, despite reports currently causing outrage on the internet.
For those who do not know, Cecil is the name of a rare famous male lion (pic above) that lived in the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. He was shot dead by an American dentist named Walter Palmer on July 1, who proudly posted the pic online, sparking a global backlash that sent him into hiding. Zimbabwe has already labelled him a criminal and is requesting that he be extradited from the United States to face charges.
On Saturday, a group called Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force announced on their Facebook page that Jericho the lion was killed at around 4 pm local time by poachers. This announcement was picked up by mainstream media and spread around, sparking a fresh outrage online.
But according to Reuters, the announcement is inaccurate as Jericho is still alive and well.
‘When I heard that report, I had a look on the computer and his movements look regular,’ He sent a GPS point from his collar from 8:06 p.m. GMT. Everything looks fine,’ Brent Stapelkamp, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project, told the news agency. ‘He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell.’
Park officials also released a statement banning hunting indefinitely, but did not mention the death of Jericho.
Update 2 August 2015:
This story has been confirmed by the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, who also clarified in their statement that Jericho is NOT Cecil’s blood brother, but a ‘coalition’ partner, which male lions usually form in order to better protect their territory and pride from other lions.