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    Cecil the lion is seen at Hwange National Parks in this undated handout picture received July 31, 2015

    Zimbabwe Charges Man Who Helped Kill Cecil the Lion

    © REUTERS / A.J. Loveridge
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    The owner of the property where the famous Cecil the lion was killed was charged Tuesday in a local court in Zimbabwe.

    A local court in Hwange, northwestern Zimbabwe, pressed charges and released on bail Tuesday a game park owner, Honest Ndlovu, who allowed an American hunter to kill Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, on his land in July. His property neighbors Hwange National Park, from which Cecil the Lion was lured away and killed.

    In the charges against Ndlovu, as quoted by Reuters, he is accused of allowing “a person who is not ordinarily a resident in Zimbabwe to hunt the said animal which was not on the hunting quota.”

    A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Honest Ndlovu (R) and fellow countryman and hunter Theo Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court, July 29, 2015
    © REUTERS / Philimon Bulawayo
    A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Honest Ndlovu (R) and fellow countryman and hunter Theo Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court, July 29, 2015

    Ndlovu denied his charge, was released on a $200 bail and is to appear in court September 18, his lawyer told Reuters. The expected charge is a 1-year jail term or $400 fine, according to Associated Press.

    Zimbabwe has lifted a ban on hunting wild animals 10 days after imposing it in the wake of global condemnation of a high-profile trophy killing, local media reported recently.

    Zimbabwe requested the extradition of dentist Walter Palmer from the US who traveled to Zimbabwe and killed the rare 13-year-old, black-maned lion after paying $50,000 for the hunt in July.

    The dentist earlier admitted to paying the sum for the trip to Hwange National Park, and used a dead animal as bait to lure the lion out of the protected area. He then proceeded to shoot the majestic creature with a bow and arrow, track it for the next 40 hours, and eventually shoot him with a gun before skinning and beheading him. Palmer said he believed his guides had the needed permits.

    Palmer’s hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, is subject to criminal prosecution for organizing the illegal hunt. Bronkhorst, whose trial was postponed until September 28, by the same Hwange court, is to face a 10-year sentence and a $20,000 fine.

    Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe classified Cecil’s death as a “vestige of colonial exploitation” and blamed the local population for failing to protect the lion.

    Online backlash regarding the death of Cecil has garnered such massive global support that the White House announced at the end of July they would be reviewing a petition to extradite the dentist back to Zimbabwe to face charges.

    The petition has garnered over 235,000 signatures.

    Meanwhile, another American doctor, Jan Casimir Seski, a gynecological oncologist, was suspected earlier this month of killing a lion near the same Hwange National Park with bow and arrows in April. Again, only the owner of the property where the illegal hunt occurred has been charged.

    Related:

    Cecil the Lion’s Cubs Alive and ‘Comfortable’ in Zimbabwe (VIDEO)
    Cecil the Lion's Killer Goes Off the Grid, But Protected by US Police
    Two Out on Bail for Cecil the Lion’s Death, American Dentist Still at Large
    Tags:
    Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer, Honest Ndlovu, Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park
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