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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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Cecil the lion killer could face up to 10 years in jail

Protests have been held outside Walter Palmer's house and dentist practice in the US. Credit: Reuters

Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer could face up to 10 years in jail if he is convicted in a Zimbabwean court.

The country has called on the US to extradite the 55-year-old dentist after it emerged he had shot the protected animal with a bow and arrow.

Palmer fled the country before the Zimbabwean authorities knew what had happened.

He admits killing black-maned Cecil, who was a tourist attraction, but said he hired professional guides and believed he had the necessary permits.

The life-long hunter has gone into hiding since his identity was revealed by Zimbabwean conservationists.

Cecil killer 'wanted to hunt elephant' after slaying lion

Theo Bronkhurst said he was 'devastated' when he realised they had killed a protected animal. Credit: Reuters

The man accused of killing Cecil the lion wanted to hunt an elephant after the slaying but "couldn't find one big enough", his guide claims.

Theo Bronkhurst told The Daily Telegraph he never meant to hunt in the land where Cecil was shot and was "devastated" to learn Walter Palmer had killed a protected animal.

He said: "We would never shoot a collared animal. We were both upset. I should have taken the collar to the parks authority but I panicked.

"So we did what had to be done and took the head and skin as the client had paid for the trophy.

"The client asked if we would find him an elephant larger than 63 pounds (the weight of one tusk) but I told him we would not be able to find one so big, so he left the next day."

Mr Bronkhurst claims he "never knew about Cecil, this famous lion" and that four other collared lions had been shot in the same area this year.

Zimbabwe calls for Cecil the lion killer to be extradited

Cecil and Walter Palmer. Credit: ITV News

Zimbabwe has called for Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer to be extradited from the US over the "illegal" killing.

Officials allege Palmer, a 55-year-old dentist from Minnesota, broke the law by financing an illegal hunt.

Palmer claims he thought it was organised above board and did not know Cecil was the country's oldest and most famous lion.

Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said she understood the Prosecutor-General had already started extradition proceedings against the "foreign poacher".

Cecil killer left 'the world will hunt you down' message

The sign left outside Walter Palmer's Californian holiday home. Credit: Reuters

Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer has been warned "the world will hunt you down" in a message left outside his holiday home.

A sign, with a lion cuddly toy attached, was taped to the front door of the property in California.

It reads: "You are an abomination - the world will hunt you down. Cecil Innocence."

Palmer has not been seen since news of the lion's death broke sparking a furious backlash from animal rights campaigners around the world.

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