American Accused in Killing of Famous African Lion - NBC New York
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American Accused in Killing of Famous African Lion

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    American Accused in Killing of Famous African Lion
    Handout Photo/Zimbabwe National Parks
    This handout picture taken on October 21, 2012 and released on July 28, 2015 by the Zimbabwe National Parks agency shows a much-loved Zimbabwean lion called "Cecil" which was allegedly killed by an American tourist on a hunt using a bow and arrow, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force charity accused on July 15, 2015, adding that the animal had taken 40 hours to die. The lion, which was a popular attraction among visitors to the Hwange National Park, was tempted outside the park using bait and then shot earlier this month.

    Wildlife officials on Tuesday accused an American tourist of killing Cecil, one of the oldest and most famous lions in Zimbabwe, without a permit after paying $50,000 to two people who lured the beast to its death, Reuters and NBC News reported.

    The lion was lured out of Hwange National Park using a bait and was shot by Walter James Palmer with a crossbow, Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told reporters.

    Rodrigues said Palmer paid Zimbabwean hunter Theo Bronkhorst and Honest Ndlovu, a private game park owner, to lure the 13-year-old Cecil. Bronkhorst and Ndlovu will face poaching charges on Wednesday in Hwange for the killing of the lion on July 1, Rodriguez said.

    Palmer told NBC News he had the correct permits, worked with local guides, and had no reason to question the legitimacy of the hunt until after it was over.