Cecil the Lion: Game Park Operator Charged with Illegal Hunting
Honest Ndlovu, the game park operator accused of letting American dentist Walter Palmer illegally hunt and kill Cecil the lion on his property in Zimbabwe, has been charged in connection with the killing and released on bail in Hwange, his lawyer said.
The killing of Cecil, a 13-year-old, rare, black-maned lion and a popular tourist attraction, caused worldwide outrage and triggered a major backlash against Africa’s multi-million dollar hunting industry.
Honest Ndlovu owns the game park into which Cecil was lured from the adjacent Hwange National Park and shot with a bow and arrow by Walter Palmer.
He was charged with permitting “a person who is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe to hunt the said animal which was not on the hunting quota”.
Lawyer Tonderai Mukuku said Honest Ndlovu denies the charge and was set free on $200 bail. He will return to court on September 18.
The same Hwange court last week postponed until September 28 the trial of local hunter Theo Bronkhorst.
Theo Bronkhorst, who acted as Walter Palmer’s guide, is accused of failing to prevent the American from killing Cecil, who had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study.
Cecil the lion was a favorite with tourists visiting Hwange park.
Zimbabwe wants Walter Palmer, 55, extradited from the US to face trial.