Zimbabwe Safari Operator: Cecil the Lion Was ‘Murdered'

Head of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe has has joined in the chorus of condemnation over the killing of Cecil the lion, telling NBC News the animal's killing was far from sport.

"We believe that the people who are the culprits lured Cecil outside the national park by…dragging that bait to an area where he was then murdered," Emmanuel Fundira said Tuesday.

"And I say 'murdered' because that was not hunting," Fundira added.

Zimbabwe said it is seeking the extradition of Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion.

Meanwhile, Theo Bronkhorst, the hunting guide charged over the lion's killing told NBC News Wednesday he had never heard of the animal before the incident, and that there would have been no outrage had it been "any other lion." Bronkhorst has pleaded not guilty. 

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