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Companion to Cecil the lion dies of natural causes

In this Nov. 26, 2013 photo Jericho the lion is seen relaxing by an ant hill in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

In this Nov. 26, 2013 photo Jericho the lion is seen relaxing by an ant hill in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

(Sean Herbert / AP)

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.

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil last year after the lion was allegedly lured outside Hwange park with an animal carcass used as bait.

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Associated Press


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