Has Cecil the Lion’s brother Jericho been killed by poachers in Zimbabwe?

Cecil the Lion
Cecil the Lion

It is feared that Cecil the Lion’s brother Jericho has been killed by poachers in Zimbabwe.

American dentist Walter Palmer, from Minnesota, sparked outrage around the world when he killed popular 13-year-old Cecil with a bow and arrow last month.
Jericho, who had been protecting his brother’s pride, was reportedly gunned down this afternoon in Huwange National Park.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said: “It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil’s brother, has been killed at 4pm today (Saturday).

“We are absolutely heart broken. We will update you all as soon as we have more details.”

However a team of conservationists from Oxford University have said his death has not been confirmed, creating hope the majestic creature could still be alive.

There are also reports the GPS on his tag was still moving after the news broke and the slain animal could be part of an ongoing investigation by the park. 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. 

Meanwhile, the American dentist who killed Cecil the lion could be prosecuted and jailed for up to five years in America under a century-old law, legal experts revealed yesterday.

Bloodthirsty Walter Palmer, who has been in hiding since igniting international outrage, is facing demands to be extradited to Zimbabwe to stand trial over the slaughter.

However, the hunting fanatic, whose attorney contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday, is more likely to face charges in America under the Lacey Act.

This is a conservation law that prohibits trade in wildlife that has been illegally killed.