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Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force


Zimbabwe’s Conservation Task Force has criticized the killing of a “majestic” 60-year-old elephant by a German hunter, calling it “unethical”.

The unnamed hunter, who was pictured with the corpse, reported paid $60,000 for the legal hunt.

It comes months after American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil the lion.

There was international outrage after Cecil, a 13-year-old lion, was killed during another legal hunt in July, also in Zimbabwe.

Walter Palmer found out earlier this week that he will not face charges over the shooting.

The death of the elephant also took place during a hunt in Zimbabwe’s southern Gonarezhou National Park.Zimbabwe elephant killed by German hunter

The Zimbabwe Association of Safaris Operators (Zaso) said the elephant was the largest seen in Zimbabwe in 100 years. Its tusks, which were so large they almost touched the floor, weighed 120lbs.

Zaso chairman Emmanuel Fundira said the hunter should have thought twice before shooting.

Walter Palmer was vilified after being identified as the killer of Cecil the lion and he closed his dental practice in Minnesota temporarily after campaigners gathered outside.

Animal rights charities criticized the decision not to prosecute him.

Earlier this week, rangers at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where Cecil the lion was killed, discovered the carcasses of 26 elephants killed by cyanide poisoning.

Poachers are known to poison salt pans with the drug in order to steal the elephants’s tusks.


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.”