Cecil the Lion's Brother Still Alive After Reports of Shooting Death

Brent Stapelkamp
Cecil the Lion with brother Jericho

Jericho was rumored to have been killed Saturday afternoon.

Cecil the Lion was killed by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer on July 1, and the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) announced Sunday that his brother, Jericho, is still alive after he too was feared dead.

A statement received by The Hollywood Reporter from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force chairman said: "I would like to sincerely apologize for my last report where I stated that Jericho had been killed. I have now discovered that he is alive and well. The cubs are also doing well."

The ZCTF announced in a statement that Jericho was shot dead at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. "It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed at 4pm today. We are absolutely heart broken. We will update you all as soon as we have more details," the force wrote on its Facebook page.

No further details could be provided at the time.

Later Saturday afternoon, a field researcher told Reuters that despite reports from the ZCTF, Jericho is not dead. "He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell," said Brent Stapelkamp, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project, who is monitoring the pride. 

Stapelkamp told Reuters that readings from Jericho's GPS tag indicated that the lion's movements appeared normal. "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. (02:06 p.m. EDT). Everything looks fine," he told Reuters.

BREAKING NEWS - JERICHO HAS BEEN SHOT TODAY AT 4pm - It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been...

Posted by ZCTF - Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force on Saturday, August 1, 2015

A representative for the SATIB Trust (Hwange Lion Research Project) or The Zambezi Society did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said that someone else has recently been arrested for alleged violation of hunting regulations. "Following the illegal killing of an iconic lion, Cecil...it has become necessary [that the organization] further tightens hunting regulations in all areas outside the Parks Estate," the statement read.

"The Authority working with other law enforcement agencies has launched a crackdown to weed out any undesirable elements," the statement continued. "To date, our law enforcement agencies are following up on all found or reported cases, and they have since arrested another culprit, Headman Sibanda, on allegations of breaching hunting regulations."

1:33 p.m., Aug. 1: Updated with reports from Reuter's.

10:00 a.m., Aug. 2: Updated with new ZCTF statement.

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