Fury over lion’s death con­tin­ues as hunter gets bail

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A PRO­FES­SIONAL hunter was granted bail on charges of “fail­ing to pre­vent an illegal hunt” af­ter he or­gan­ised the ex­pe­di­tion on which an Amer­i­can den­tist killed Zim­babwe’s beloved Ce­cil the lion.

The lion’s death trig­gered an out­pour­ing of anger world­wide af­ter it was al­leged that he was lured out of Hwange Na­tional Park and shot with a pow­er­ful bow and arrow.

Theo Bronkhorst, wear­ing a green sleeve­less jacket, was or­dered to lodge a $ 1000 de­posit at the court in Hwange in north­west­ern Zim­babwe af­ter a day of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween po­lice, pros­e­cu­tors and lawyers.

Co- ac­cused Hon­est Ndlovu, a landowner, was sched­uled to ap­pear in court to­day on sep­a­rate charges.

“Af­ter hear­ing sub­mis­sions from both coun­sel, bail is hereby granted,” mag­is­trate Lindiwe Maphosa said, set­ting Bronkhorst’s trial date for Au­gust 5.

Den­tist Wal­ter Palmer, an ex­pe­ri­enced tro­phy hunter from Min­nesota whose where­abouts are un­known, is thought to have left Zim­babwe some weeks ago. He has been tar­geted with vi­cious abuse af­ter he ad­mit­ted killing Ce­cil and said he had been mis­led by his guides. Im­ages of the den­tist grin­ning over a small zoo’s worth of dead prey from pre­vi­ous hunts – a limp leop­ard, a rhino, an elk, a big horned sheep, a Cape buf­falo – cir­cu­lated widely on the in­ter­net and fed a firestorm of crit­i­cism.

A fam­ily friend said that Bronkhorst be­lieved he had acted legally dur­ing the hunt this month and was shocked to find that the lion was wear­ing a track­ing col­lar, fit­ted as part of a Univer­sity of Ox­ford re­search pro­gram.

Pic­tures: GETTY IM­AGES/ AFP, AP

WORLD­WIDE ANGER: A pro­tester in the park­ing lot of hunter Dr Wal­ter Palmer's River Bluff Den­tal Clinic; ( inset) hunter Theo Bronkhorst.

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