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Hunter Bailed in Killing of Cecil the Lion

A South African lioness walks through the Phinda Private Game Reserve, near Hluhluwe, South Africa. File Photo.

A Zimbabwean court Wednesday remanded professional hunter Theodore Bronkhorst out of custody to August 5 on a $1,000 bail on charges of failing to prevent the killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, by U.S. dentist Walter Palmer.

Bronkhorst, who appeared before Magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa at the Hwange Magistrates’ Court, was not asked to plead to the charges.

He was ordered to surrender his passport, reside at his riverside address in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second City, and not interfere with state witnesses.

He has also been asked to report to the police three times a week as the court hearing progresses.

Palmer, who fatally shot the lion with a rifle and bow, says he believed the hunt was legal. Bronkhorst runs Bushman Safaris in Bulawayo and was supervising the hunt.

His co-accused, Honest Trymore Ndlovu, a Gwayi conservancy farmer, is yet to appear in court on charges of allowing the hunt on his Antoinnette property, when he had not been allocated the required permit.

Bronkhorst’s lawyer, Givemore Muviringi, says his client will plead not guilty to the charges.

“He’s charged of contravening section 66 sub-section 2 of the Parks and wildlife Act, as it is alleged that he failed to prevent an unlawful hunt.“

Muviringi said Bronkhorst maintains he had all the required papers to conduct the hunt with Palmer.

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