Zimbabwe

Cecil The Lion's 'brother' Jericho 'has died' - Conservationists

2016-10-31 19:00
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare - Rumours have been flying on social media - and now conservationists on the ground are confirming it: Jericho, the coalition partner of Zimbabwe's most famous lion Cecil, has died.

Oh no, what happened?

For now it's unclear. But there's no suggestion he died at the hands of a hunter, as Cecil did last year. Apparently he'd been seen ailing during a game count in Hwange National Park last month.

"He was a majestic old lion that lived and died in the wild – just as it should be," Friends of Hwange said.

Cecil was around 13 when he died. Looks like Jericho was at least that age. Bb the way, Cecil and Jericho weren't actually blood brothers, just partners in a lion coalition. Jericho has been protecting (in a passive way, according to top conservationist Brent Stapelkamp in this FB post) Cecil's cubs. 

Lions of Hwange National Park say an autopsy is being carried out.

Hang on, wasn't Jericho already dead?

No, that report in August 2015 was fake. The group that reported Jericho dead then - raising fears for the survival of Cecil's cubs - later admitted it was a case of mistaken identity.

Is this the end for Cecil's pride?

Very unlikely. It's true that when an "outside" male takes over a pride he will often kill cubs - and Cecil had around seven of them. But they're older now and sources in Hwange say most of them are girls (so they may be seen by new males in a very different light).

What effect did Cecil's death have on the conservation sector in Zimbabwe?

It certainly raised Zimbabwe's profile perhaps in ways the authorities may not have wished: Cecil, after all, became a worldwide phenomenon. Zimbabwe tightened rules on hunting as the Cecil media frenzy reached a peak. Some conservation groups argue that the "Cecil effect" - the global backlash against lion hunting - may not be a good thing. 

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation  |  animals

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