Abigail Mawonde Herald Reporter
Prominent farmer in the Gwayi Conservancy Mr Honest Trymore Ndlovu and a professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst are expected to appear in court tomorrow for killing one of the oldest and popular lions at Hwange National Park.
The Professional Hunter’s Licence (licence number 553) has since been revoked while the lion trophy has also been confiscated.
Mr Bronkhorst, registered with Bushman Safaris, is facing criminal charges for allegedly killing a collared lion at Antoinette farm in Gwayi Conservancy in Hwange district on July 1, 2015.
The case is being handled by Victoria Falls Police Station under case number CR 27/07/2015.
The lion named ‘Cecil’ was well known and regularly sighted by tourists in the main camp area of Hwange National Park.
It is alleged that the hunter connived with the Antoinette land owner, Mr Ndlovu to kill the lion.
In a joint press statement by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director general Mr Edison Chidziya and Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Emmanuel Fundira said ongoing investigations to date suggested that the killing of the lion was illegal since the land owner had not been allocated a lion on his hunting quota for 2015.
“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management as the Regulatory Authority and custodian of all wild animals in Zimbabwe issues permits and hunting quota for all hunting areas in Zimbabwe so that only animals on quota are to be hunted.
“In this case, both the professional hunter and the land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt,” read the statement.
The statement said efforts were being made to interview the other professional hunter, Zane Bronkhorst, licence number 558, who was also involved in the illegal hunt hence rendering all persons implicated in the case liable to appearing in court facing poaching charges.