Another Lion Reportedly Shot Dead As World Mourns Cecil [UPDATE]
As the world mourns the death of a beloved lion named Cecil, reports have emerged suggesting another lion may have been shot dead recently.
Cecil was killed in July by an American dentist who paid $55,000 to shoot the 13-year-old pride leader. Although some media reports initially suggested Cecil's "brother" may have been killed Saturday, those reports were false.
Although Cecil's "brother" is alive, nameless lions are killed daily at the hands of humans.
Zimbabwe's Conservation Task Force corrected themselves in a Facebook post on Sunday: "Jericho is in fact alive and well and has adopted Cecil's cubs ... This was a case of mistaken identity, but a lion has in fact been killed ... although we are relieved that it was not Jericho, we are not happy that yet another lion has been killed." CNN was unable to immediately verify this death.
"This false information probably stems from a current Parks investigation into another lion shot on a nearby farm," non-profit Bhejane Trust wrote on Facebook. A parks agency source told Reuters that a foreigner illegally killed another lion in July, but the report is unconfirmed.
An estimated 600 lions are killed yearly for sport, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
According to NPR, Jericho may not actually be Cecil's brother, but Dr. David Macdonald of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University wrote, "Jericho is as likely as Cecil to be the father of some of the cubs, so he has a stake in their survival. Right now, Jericho is in good health and he (and the lionesses) will defend the cubs."
Amid the killings, there are people dedicating their lives to saving these magnificent creatures. Click here for ways that you can help the lions who are still alive.
This story has been updated to include speculation over Jericho's status.
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