In this image takem from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Cecil’s head is now with the authorities after it was found in the home of Theo Bronkhorst, said to be a guide on the hunt that saw the cat killed. Two Zimbabwean citizens were arrested and face charges.
Authorities have ordered the suspension of hunts targeting lions, leopards and elephants outside of Hwange National Park amid a broad investigation into hunting industry practices.
The southeast African country also has suspended all wildlife hunting.
The news comes amid outrage against Walter J. Palmer, who killed Cecil in Zimbabwe on July 6.
The landowner, Honest Ndlovu, was also accused of assisting Palmer but has not been charged, Reuters reported.
Jericho the lion is alive and well and roaming his park habitat in Zimbabwe, the Oxford University researcher tracking the lion confirmed on Sunday.
Bronkhorst – who said he grew up hunting and considers the practice a part of Zimbabwean culture, one that is essential for conservation – said his family has received death threats and that his business has been forever damaged. Seski is not accused of having any ties to Cecil’s killing, and Zimbabwe has not requested Seski’s extradition. He said that when he learned about the report, he checked on his monitor to ensure if Jericho was alive and well.
Stewart Dorrington, who operates Melorani Safaris and owns a game reserve in neighboring South Africa where Seski hunted in 2012, said the American seemed like a “perfect gentleman”.
National Parks spokeswoman Caroline Washaya Moyo said Seski had provided his name and other identifying information for a government database when he came for the hunt.
“The illegal killing was deliberate”, she said at a news conference.
“Jericho has taken over alpha male duties for the pride, and if he’s killed the animals that were once under Cecil’s watch will be unprotected in the wild”. “As he has for the past 35 years, that is where Dr. Seski intends to focus his energy and attention”.
Delta Airlines announced last week that it no longer would accept as cargo the carcasses of endangered exotic animals killed by trophy hunters.