Home Tags Posts tagged with "Hwange National Park"

Hwange National Park


A high court in Zimbabwe court has dropped charges against Theo Bronkhorst , the professional hunter alleged to have helped American dentist Walter Palmer to kill Cecil the lion.

The court ruled that the charges against Theo Bronkhorst “were too vague to enable to him to mount a proper defense”.

Walter Palmer, who killed Cecil the lion last year, was not charged.

Photo AFP/Getty Images

Photo AFP/Getty Images

The famed lion – a favorite at Hwange National Park – was shot by Walter Palmer with a bow and arrow.

Walter Palmer is said to have paid about $50,000 to hunt the lion.

Cecil’s killing sparked international outrage, and prompted a global campaign to end lion trophy hunting.

Theo Bronkhorst said in court that he had obtained all the permits required to kill an elderly lion that was outside the national park boundaries.

Cecil the lion attracted photographic safaris and was part of an Oxford research project into lions at the Hwange National Park.


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.Cecil the lion killing Zimbabwe trial

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.


Cecil the lion may be commemorated by a bronze statue at the entrance to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in, where he lived, a Zimbabwe conservation group has announced.

The lion’s death prompted worldwide outrage after being killed by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Zimbabwe is now seeking Walter Palmer’s extradition.

Cecil’s death made headlines around the world, and sent Walter Palmer into hiding.

The famous lion was killed outside Hwange park using a bow and arrow. Walter Palmer says he thought the hunt was legal but two Zimbabwean men have been arrested over the killing.Cecil the lion statue planned

Cheryl Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said people had already offered donations for the sculpture – the cost of which has not yet been confirmed.

She said: “Cecil was such an icon and it’s created such a fuss everywhere we thought it would be nice to do it.”

The Conservation Task Force has commissioned John Binder of Birds for Africa to make the statue and said it would be an “excellent reminder to all who visit the park”.

John Binder, a metal sculptor for 24 years, said he was “a little bit thunderstruck” to be asked and when his wife Debbie found out she nearly fell over.

“There’s a hell of a lot of pressure,” he said.

John Binder called Cecil’s death “crazy, stupid” and down to “sheer greed”, but added: “We are going to have to be detached from the emotion and get on with the job.”

His previous work includes statues of a pride of lions at a private game lodge in South Africa.

Oxford University had been studying Cecil for lion conservation and John Binder said he was hoping researchers could tell him how much the lion weighed and his dimensions to make the sculpture as realistic as possible.

Cheryl Rodrigues said it was not clear whether a permit would be needed from the park for the statue to be placed at the entrance.

Some have criticized the plan, telling the organization on their Facebook page that it would be more beneficial to use the money to counter corruption and improve conservation.

This is not the only legacy project afoot for the 13-year-old animal renowned for being friendly towards visitors.

Earlier this week the conservation group’s chairman Johnny Rodrigues suggested Cecil’s head be mounted in a glass case.


The head of Cecil the lion is wanted by a Zimbabwe conservation group to be mounted in a case in Hwange National Park, where he was killed last month.

Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said the lion’s head was found in the home of Theo Bronkhorst, one of the co-accused.

Cecil the lion was shot in July by American dentist Walter Palmer. Zimbabwe is seeking his extradition.Cecil the lion head

The lion’s death made headlines around the world, sending Walter Palmer into hiding.

Johnny Rodrigues told the BBC the plan had been for the head to be sent to South Africa and then on to the US where Walter Palmer would be able to claim it.

He said the Task Force would raise the money for Cecil’s head to be mounted in a glass case and would ask the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority about the plan “once the dust had settled”.

“Any tourist should be able to come and see the cause of all this turmoil around the world,” Johnny Rodrigues said.

Johnny Rodrigues said he has been subjected to a torrent of abuse after speaking out against hunting following Cecil’s death.

“I had to put my phone off. Hunters are using this as a way to get to me, sending insults and remarks by email and by text.”

He said he had been accused of taking money from hunts, a claim he denied.

“I hate hunting, I don’t believe in it,” he said.

Cecil’s six cubs were being looked after by another lion, Jericho, according to Johnny Rodrigues.

“We were expecting the worst and for the other male to come in and take the female and kill the cubs. But Jericho is doing a good job.

“They are following him around and he is playing with them. We are monitoring them all the time and everybody is happy.”


The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has launched an investigation into the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe but say they have been unable to reach dentist Walter Palmer.

The FWS said it was “deeply concerned” about the “tragic” death of one of Africa’s most famous lions.

Director Dan Ashe said they will “go where facts lead” but efforts to reach Walter Palmer have been unsuccessful.

Walter Palmer says he thought the hunt was legal but two Zimbabwean men have been arrested over Cecil’s death.

The dental practice Walter Palmer runs in Minneapolis has been closed since he was named as the tourist who shot Cecil, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion.

Protesters gathered outside the building on July 29, carrying placards saying “Justice for Cecil”, “Trophy hunters are cowards” and “Prosecute poachers”.

On July 30, the White House said it would review a public petition to extradite Walter Palmer after more than 100,000 signed it.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was up to the US justice department to respond to any extradition order.

Earlier, the FWS said: “We are currently gathering facts about the issue and will assist Zimbabwe officials in whatever manner requested.”

“At this point in time, however, multiple efforts to contact Dr Walter Palmer have been unsuccessful,” it said, saying Walter Palmer or his representative should contact them immediately.Cecil the Lion killer Walter Palmer

“It is up to all of us – not just the people of Africa – to ensure that healthy, wild populations of animals continue to roam the savannah for generations to come,” the statement said.

The whereabouts of Walter Palmer is currently unknown, but he is thought to have returned to the US after Cecil was killed on July 1st.

In a letter to his patients, Walter Palmer said he would assist authorities in Zimbabwe or the US in their inquiries and apologized for the disruption to the clinic.

He is believed to have paid about $50,000 to go on the hunt in Zimbabwe.

Prosecutors in Zimbabwe have charged the hunter who supervised Walter Palmer’s outing, Theo Bronkhorst, for killing a lion not authorized to be hunted. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Zimbabwe’s safari organization also said the way in which Cecil was lured out of a national park was unethical and possibly illegal.

A second suspect, farm owner Honest Ndlovu, was also arrested but is yet to be charged.

An international hunting organization suspended the memberships of both Walter Palmer and Theo Bronkhorst on July 30, saying it wanted a “full and thorough investigation” into the lion’s death.

Safari Club International, which promotes big-game hunting worldwide, said “those who intentionally take wildlife illegally should be prosecuted and punished to the maximum extent allowed by law”.

Cecil, who was a major tourist attraction at Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve in Hwange National Park, was being monitored by Oxford University as part of a conservation program.

The lion is believed to have died on July 1st, but the carcass was not discovered until a few days later.


Two Zimbabweans are due to appear in court over the killing of Cecil, the country’s most famous lion shot by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farm owner Honest Ndlovu, are charged with poaching offences for not having the required hunting permit.

Walter Palmer shot the animal with a crossbow and rifle outside Hwange National Park.

Police say Walter Palmer, who claims he was unaware of the lion’s identity, could also face poaching charges.

Theo Bronkhorst and Honest Ndlovu, who accompanied Walter Palmer on the hunt, will appear in court in Victoria Falls, and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Walter Palmer says he regrets shooting the well-known animal and believed he was on a legal hunt, saying he relied on professional guides to find a lion and obtain the necessary permits.

Separately, court records have shown that the dentist has a felony record in the US after killing a black bear in the state of Wisconsin in 2006.

Walter Palmer was given a one-year probation and fined $3,000, having shot the animal outside an authorized zone and then trying to pass it off as having been killed elsewhere.Cecil the Lion killed by Dr Walter Palmer

Records from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry also show that Walter Palmer was the subject of a harassment complaint which was settled in 2006.

A receptionist alleged that the dentist had made comments to her. Walter Palmer admitted no wrongdoing and agreed to pay out more than $127,000.

Walter Palmer is believed to have paid about $50,000 to go on the hunt in Zimbabwe.

Cecil the lion was skinned and beheaded, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), a local charity.

Walter Palmer insists that he believed his guides had secured “all proper permits” for the hunt.

“I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” he said in a statement on July 28.

He said he had not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or the US but would “assist them in any inquiries they may have”.

Walter Plmer is believed to be back in the US, although his exact whereabouts are unknown.

“Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practise responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” he said.

The dental practice run by Walter Palmer was closed on July 28 and a note was placed on the door referring visitors to a public relations company.

The practice’s Facebook page was removed from the site after being besieged by angry comments and the company website was also taken down.

Zimbabwe, like many African countries, is battling to curb illegal hunting and poaching which threatens to make some of its wildlife extinct.

Cecil, a 13-year-old lion, was a major tourist attraction at Zimbabwe’s famous Hwange National Park.

The animal is believed to have been killed on July 1st but the carcass was not discovered until a few days later.

The ZCTF said the hunters had used bait to lure him outside Hwange National Park during a night-time pursuit.

Walter Palmer is said to have shot Cecil with a crossbow, injuring the animal. The group did not find the wounded lion until 40 hours later, when he was shot dead with a gun.

The animal had a GPS collar fitted for a research project by Oxford University that allowed authorities to track its movements. The hunters tried to destroy it, but failed, according to the ZCTF.

The six cubs of Cecil will now be killed by the new male lion in the pride in order to encourage the lionesses to mate with him.

About a century ago there were around 200,000 lions roaming across Africa but that figure has dropped to less than 30,000 in recent years.

Hunting lions is legal in several countries in southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, but groups must obtain a valid permit from authorities.