Report: Cecil the lion’s brother illegally killed

FILE - In this image takem from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's wildlife minister says extradition is being sought for Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed Cecil. (Paula French via AP)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (MEDIA GENERAL) – Multiple news outlets have reported Jericho, brother of Cecil the lion, was illegally killed by hunters Saturday, August 1, 2015 in Zimbabwe.

USA Today says Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force chairman Johnny Rodrigues confirmed the killing.

“I’m very disappointed, I’m heartbroken,” Rodrigues told USA Today.

Cecil the lion’s killing sparked an international uproar after the beloved feline was lured out of a national park, killed, skinned and beheaded last week by an American hunter and two local guides. USA Today also reported Jericho recently had been seen protecting Cecil’s orphaned cubs.

The two Zimbabweans, a professional hunter and a farm owner, have been arrested. Zimbabwe authorities are working with the United States government to extradite Walter Palmer back to the African country to face potential charges for the alleged trophy kill.

Following the public outcry, Zimbabwe has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the area where Cecil was killed. Wildlife authorities said it was necessary to tighten hunting regulations following Cecil’s death, and they hope this incident raises awareness to the country’s regulations.

“The outrage over Cecil could have helped because people are now more aware and ready to come with information,” Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife conservation director Geoffrey Matipano told The Associated Press.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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