Zimbabwe suspends big game hunting after Cecil's death

Cecil the lion was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer

Updated: 
Zimbabwe Curbs Hunting Amid Search for Second Lion Killer
Zimbabwe suspends big game hunting after Cecil the lion's death
Zimbabwe has announced the suspension of big game hunting in the area where Cecil the lion was killed last week.

The famous lion, which drew thousands of tourists to the area, was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer.

See also: American huntress sparks outrage by posing for photo with dead giraffe

Since the news of Cecil's death broke, the government of the southern African country has come under increased pressure to crack down on illegal hunting.

Hunting is already restricted to certain zones but outside these areas animals are unprotected and the government is able to collect fees from hunt organisers.

It's been suggested that Cecil the lion (below) was lured from a protected zone into the open where he was shot.

Cecil the Lion killed Zimbabwe

The government has launched an investigation into hunting of this kind in an effort to get rid of illegal activity.

The head of Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Authority 'Zimparks' said: "Hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in areas outside of Hwange National Park has been suspended. Government is also directing all those currently in the field to stop their hunting activities and withdraw."

The statement also responds to allegations that Jericho the lion, Cecil's ally, had also been shot: "Investigations have since established that Jericho is still alive and monitored by the lion research project in Hwange National Park who confirmed sighting Jericho as at 7am on 2 August 2015."

The country is now also seeking a second American in connection with the death of a lion in April.

According to CNN, the killer is a doctor from Pennsylvania in the USA. The doctor hasn't been charged and the country is not calling for his extradition.

However they have called for the extradition of Walter Palmer from the US to face charges over Cecil's death.

Palmer, his professional hunter guide and the land owner have been accused of illegally using a bow and arrow. Palmer is also accused of financing an illegal hunt. It's thought that they have also been accused of using food to lure the famous lion out of the protected area.

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