The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or Cites says Zimbabwe is expected to use its laws to address the killing of the famous Cecil the lion by an American professional hunter, Walter Palmer.
CITES secretary general, John Scanlon, said, "The killing of Cecil the lion has attracted great public attention and it has attracting a lot of passionate debate. The issue of legality of illegality of the killing of that lion is a matter for the authorities in Zimbabwe to take account of.”
He said media reports indicate that Zimbabwe authorities claim that “this was an illegal kill of the lion named Cecil.”
Scanlon said, “We expect the Zimbabwean authorities to take the necessary action in accordance with national laws.”
Scanlon, said African lions like Cecil are not yet threatened with extinction though uncontrolled trade in their products could lead to their demise.
Scanlon says trade in these lions is strictly regulated and attempts were made in the last CITES convention to list them as endangered species.
He noted that an attempt to regulate trade in lions is likely to be made when CITES holds its next meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, next year.
Zimbabwe says it wants the U.S. to extradite Palmer for prosecution over the killing of the lion, which was popular mostly among tourists. It was part of a research being conducted by Oxford University.