Zimbabwe calls for US hunter to be extradited over lion death

Zimbabwe calls for US hunter to be extradited over lion death
Cecil the lion was recognisable because of his black mane. He was also being monitored as part of an Oxford University study in lion conservation.

HARARE - Zimbabwe on Friday called for Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter from Minnesota, to be extradited from the United States for shooting Cecil the lion, whose death triggered worldwide outrage.

Palmer allegedly paid US$50,000 (S$68,800) for the hunt earlier this month in which he shot the lion with a powerful bow and arrow close to Hwange national park in the west of Zimbabwe.

Cecil, who had a distinctive black mane, was a popular tourist attraction among visitors to the park and was also wearing a collar as part of a University of Oxford research project.

"We are appealing to the responsible authorities for (Palmer's) extradition to Zimbabwe so that he can be made accountable for his illegal actions," environment minister Oppah Muchinguri told reporters in Harare.

"Unfortunately it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he had already absconded to his country of origin." Palmer, who has gone into hiding amid a flood of angry abuse and criticism, has apologised for killing Cecil and said he was misled by professional guide Theo Bronkhorst.

Bronkhorst, who organised the expedition, was granted bail by the Hwange court on Wednesday after being charged with "failing to prevent an illegal hunt".

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