Zimbabwean authorities have launched a manhunt for an American national accused of killing the country’s iconic lion early this month affectionately called Cecil in the Gwayi Conservancy, Hwange district, Matabeleland North province.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe and the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe issued a joint statement Tuesday condemning the killing of the country’s biggest lion that had become a major tourist attraction at the Hwange National Park.
Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, said the American, Walter James Palmer of Minnesota, allegedly paid $55,000 to a Gwayi conservancy-based professional hunter, Theo Bronchorst, who allegedly teamed up with local farmer, Trymore Ndlovu, to facilitate the killing of the 13 year-old lion.
Fundira said Zimbabwe was set to lose a lot of revenue as many tourists were visiting the Hwange National Park to see Cecil.
Parks and Wildlife spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo, encouraged people to conserve the country’s heritage that includes wildlife.
Meanwhile, Brochorst and Ndlovu are expected to appear before a Victoria Falls magistrate tomorrow facing charges of killing the country’s iconic lion.