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  1. #1
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Cecil the Lion killed by dentist Walter Palmer- Update on Cecil's pride

    After a wild lion named Cecil was killed by a big game hunter from Minnesota last July, sparking international outrage, the researchers who had been tracking the charismatic black-maned male feared more carnage.

    Cecil's close ally at Zimbabwe's sprawling Hwange National Park, a feisty male named Jericho, was missing too.

    And what of Cecil's young cubs? Without their father's protection, they could be killed by one of his rivals.

    Bits of the story trickled out over the following weeks: Cecil's cubs had survived under the rule of Jericho, who had returned to take his place as king of the pride. But the details remained elusive. In one news account, a grieving local game guide declined to take journalists to photograph the cubs. And there were inaccuracies; Jericho and Cecil were not brothers, as was initially reported.

    But now, thanks to the new children's book, "Cecil's Pride: The True Story of a Lion King," we have a much fuller picture of the aftermath, complete with remarkable photos by Brent Stapelkamp, a lion researcher who tracked Cecil for years.

    snipped

    "There's really no way to explain the Jericho phenomenon — it's almost contrary to nature, to what a lion of a different bloodline will do. They normally come in and they want to start their own bloodline. It's what nature tells them. So the fact that Jericho took over and is protecting the cubs — you really couldn't make that story up."

    And the news out of Hwange continues to be good, according to Andrew Loveridge, who heads Oxford University's WildCRU Trans Kalahari Predator Project, which tracked Cecil.

    "Cecil's three females and seven cubs (are) still all alive and well and still within their normal home range, so they have survived almost a year after Cecil's death," Loveridge said Wednesday. "We were worried one of the females (Nobhule) had died because the GPS collar she was fitted with stopped moving for a few weeks, but turns out she just managed to drop her GPS collar and she is fine."

    Even before his dramatic death, Cecil was famous in Zimbabwe for his gracious response to tourists. Every year thousands visit Hwange, a game preserve roughly the size of Connecticut, and the charismatic lion king didn't mind playing to the crowds. Unlike most animals, he would stroll by safari vehicles, allowing gawkers to take his picture.

    Cecil and Jericho weren't always friends. Cecil's brother and close ally, Leander, had died in 2009 defending their territory from Jericho's father. Jericho and his brothers stepped in and drove Cecil from his territory. When Jericho and Cecil met again in 2013, they fought violently. Stapelkamp, who knew about their family histories, thought, "This is not going to end well," the book says.

    But a few days later, Cecil and Jericho were spotted again, clearly on friendly terms. It's extremely rare for unrelated male lions to live together in the same territory, but the alliance held. Cecil and Jericho formed a pride together, according to the book.

    Cecil fathered eight cubs by age 13, but his size and showy black mane made him a target for trophy hunters. According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Cecil was lured out of Hwange, shot with a bow and arrow by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, and later killed with a gun.

    snipped

    In Zimbabwe, the government feared that Cecil's cubs, less than a year old at the time, would be killed by the male who took over the pride.

    Park employees tried to find Jericho for days, according to the book; they suspected he was out looking for Cecil. And, sure enough, he was spotted making a quiet grumbling sound — a call meant to attract Cecil without alerting rival lions that something was amiss.

    Jericho then returned to the pride and accepted Cecil's cubs as his own. Stapelkamp kept an eye on the cubs after that, and they seemed happy and well fed.

    They were even spotted playing among elephants, with Jericho watching nearby.

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    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  2. #2
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Companion to Cecil the lion dies of natural causes

    Oct 31, 2016


    Conservationists in Zimbabwe are reporting the death of an old lion who was a companion of Cecil, the lion whose illegal killing by an American hunter last year prompted an international outcry.

    Lion researchers at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park said Sunday that the carcass of a 12-year-old male lion named Jericho was found under a bush Saturday and that the animal likely died of natural causes four days prior to its discovery. The Hwange Lion Research Project says Jericho was old for a male lion living in the wild.

    Jericho and Cecil oversaw two lion prides together but were not related. Both lions wore GPS collars.


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    RIP Jericho, you will be back with your brother Cecil now. Thank you for taking care of Cecil's pride for the past year.
    Last edited by mykittysmama; 11-01-2016 at 01:46 PM.
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  3. #3
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    brent stapelkamp ‏@brentstapelkamp 15m15 minutes ago

    Jericho has sadly passed away but let us honour him in ensuring young lions like this live long lives too. Brent


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  4. #4
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    brent stapelkamp*@brentstapelkamp

    Bhubezi happily "at home" with Cecil's pride despite not being their father! #cecil'spride #visithwange



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    So happy to see this since Jericho passed, Cecil's pride has protection!
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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