Cecil's cub has not been killed - Zim parks authority

2015-08-11 14:30
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare - Reports that one of Cecil the lion's cubs has been killed by a lion trying to mate with its mother are not true, the state Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said on Tuesday.

The seven cubs in Cecil's pride "were all seen alive and well" up to August 7, the authority said in a statement.

A British paper claimed on Sunday that an eighth cub had been killed, but this occurred long before Cecil was shot dead in an illegal hunt by a US dentist in Hwange National Park early last month, insiders and the parks authority say.

"[Cecil's] pride originally had eight cubs born. Long before Cecil was illegally hunted, one of them disappeared. The authority can only guess the reason for it to have died but this is quite natural, perhaps hyena or something else," the statement says.

Sources in Hwange have been saying since Sunday that the cubs - and Jericho, who was Cecil's male coalition partner and is now looking after the cubs and bonding with a female called Ketty - are all fine.

Said the parks authority: "The story circulating [on] social network sites that a new male lion has killed one of the cubs and that Jericho has abandoned the pride is just untrue and unfounded at this point."

The authorities have now lifted a countrywide ban on hunting lions, leopards and elephants, just a week after it was imposed in response to global outrage over Cecil's killing.

But it remains in force in the area where Cecil and another lion were illegally killed last month. And from now on, hunters on this type of hunt will have to be accompanied by a state parks official.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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