American Accused in Killing of Famous African Lion

cecil-handout-photo
Handout Photo/Zimbabwe National Parks

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.

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