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Cecil lion hunt guide: Charges are frivolous and wrong

The Zimbabwean hunter who led the expedition that killed Cecil the lion has appeared in court.

Theo Bronkhorst, who runs a safari company, will stand trial on September 28 on charges of organising an illegal hunt.

Bronkhorst denies any wrongdoing over the hunt in July, when US dentist Walter Palmer paid to shoot Cecil with a bow and arrow.

On Wednesday he said the case against him was "frivolous" and "wrong".

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Cecil the lion's close ally Jericho 'is not dead'

An ally of Cecil, the lion killed in Zimbabwe by an American hunter last month, is not dead, a researcher monitoring the pride has said, contradicting earlier reports that Jericho had been killed.

"He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell," said Brent Stapelkamp, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project, which is monitoring the lion with a GPS tag.

Cecil the lion was allegedly killed by American dentist Walter Palmer. Credit: Reuters

Yesterday, a group called the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force, which is not an official government agency, posted on its Facebook page that Jericho had been killed after a case of "mistaken identity".

The report was then picked up by media outlets and prompted a furious reaction on Twitter where animal lovers had already been expressing their fury at the killing of Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, that was a popular tourist attraction.

Stapelkamp said readings from Jericho's GPS tag indicated he was moving around as usual and appeared to be with a female.

When I heard that report, I had a look on the computer and his movements look regular. He sent a GPS point from his collar from 8:06 p.m. (1806 GMT). Everything looks fine.

– Brent Stapelkamp, Hwange Lion Research Project

Heartbreak as Cecil the lion's brother is 'shot dead'

Cecil and Walter Palmer. Credit: ITV News

The brother of Cecil the lion was reportedly shot dead in Zimbabwe today.

The Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force said it was "absolutely heartbroken" by the news of Jericho's death.

Jericho was the next lion in the hierarchy and was said to be looking after Cecil's cubs after he was killed by US dentist Walter Palmer.

The Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force said on Facebook: "It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed at 4pm today. We are absolutely heartbroken."

Cecil hunter's representative contacts US agency

A representative has contacted a US agency investigating the hunt

A representative for the hunter who allegedly illegally killed Cecil the lion, Dr Walter Palmer, has contacted a US wildlife agency.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), who are assisting Zimbabwe authorities with an investigation over the killing of the 13-year-old lion, said on Twitter that a representative of Dr Palmer had contacted them yesterday.

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