The State has laid a further charge against former professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst, in connection 'Cecil the lion's death.

Harare – The state has laid a further charge against former professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst, in connection with the death of “Cecil the lion” which became the world’s most famous animal after it was shot dead in a Zimbabwe game park by an American dentist.

Bronkhorst was cleared last year of charges of conducting the “illegal” hunt in which Cecil died.

The state had previously said it would not prosecute Walter Palmer, the American hunter who shot Cecil with a bow and arrow on a farm near the Hwange National Park. He paid about R700 000 for the hunt which was booked through Bronkhorst.

Recently appointed Zimbabwean Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said in Harare at the time that Palmer could not be charged.

“We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that (Walter) Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all his papers were in order.”

Now the state has reworded charges against Bronkhorst and claims he arranged an “illegal” hunt for Palmer.

Cecil the Lion was an old, but magnificent-looking black-maned lion regularly photographed by researchers working for Oxford University’s lion project in the park. The researchers had electronic collars on many lions, including Cecil.

Photos of Cecil taken by one of the researchers went around the world and his death caused outrage in many countries.

Experts say Zimbabwe’s lions are in danger because ever-less land is available for wildlife.

“I have to be back in court on April 4,” Bronkhorst said from Bulawayo, where he now lives.

The Star