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Hunting suspended in Zimbabwe as rumors fly that Jericho, Cecil’s brother, is killed

Cecil the lion is seen in an image from a November 2012 video taken at Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe. A Minnesota dentist is accused of killing Cecil in July.

Cecil the lion is seen in an image from a November 2012 video taken at Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe. A Minnesota dentist is accused of killing Cecil in July.

(Paula French / AP)

In the wake of an international furor over the death of a well-known lion, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority has suspended the hunting of wildlife, including lions, leopards and elephants in areas outside of Hwange National Park.

The annoucement Saturday, days after the fatal shooting of Cecil the lion, said hunts would be allowed only if authorized by the head of the wildlife authority and if hunters were accompanied by parks staff.

A suspension on bow hunting, unless confirmed and authorized by the authority, also IS taking effect.

On Saturday, a Zimbabwe conservation group said that Jericho, the brother of Cecil the lion, had been shot dead by hunters.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, which previously broke news of Cecil’s killing, on Saturday published a post on Facebook expressing “disgust and sadness” at the killing of Jericho about 4 p.m. Saturday.

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But conflicting reports said that Jericho was still alive.

Cecil was lured from a protected national park in Zimbabwe and killed in early July in a bow-and-arrow hunt described as illegal by Zimbabwean authorities, who said Friday they were seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. Palmer is reported to have paid $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil, an iconic black-maned lion.

Reports of the fatal shooting of Jericho by a poacher created immediate social media shock waves Saturday, following global outrage over Cecil’s killing.

Within an hour, the conservation group’s posting had attracted the attention of Mia Farrow and other celebrities with star power and a large following.

#CecilTheLion’s brother Jericho was just killed by an illegal hunter. He had been protecting Cecil’s cubs,” Farrow tweeted, minutes after the first reports surfaced. Her post was quickly re-tweeted nearly 500 times.

In its statement, the conservation group said, “We are absolutely heart broken.”

There was no immediate confirmation from officials about any slaying. The conservation organization said it would provide details when they became available.

Staff writer Dixon reported from Johannesburg, South Africa and Schachar from Los Angeles.

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