Zimbabwe partially lifts hunting ban around national park

  • Reuters, Harare
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2015 00:59 IST
According to National Geographic, some 2,00,000 lions roamed across Africa a century ago. Today, there are less than 30,000. (AFP Photo)

Zimbabwe has partially lifted a ban on big-game hunting around Hwange National Park that was imposed after an international outcry
over the killing of Cecil, the country’s most prized lion, by an American dentist last month.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement on Tuesday that the ban remained in place for two private game parks and rural communities near the park. In the areas where it has been rescinded, all lion, leopard and elephant hunts must be supervised by park staff.

Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, was killed on one of the farms adjacent to the park where the ban on big game hunts, first imposed on August 1, remains in force.

Authorities in Zimbabwe imposed the indefinite ban after an American hunter Walter Palmer had killed Cecil with a bow and arrow after, they say, his guides used bait to lure the big cat out of the park’s protective embrace.

A Zimbabwean court earlier postponed the trial of local hunter Theo Bronkhorst until September 28.

He is accused of failing to prevent Palmer from illegally killing Cecil, a 13-year-old lion which had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study.

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