Updated: Cecil The Lion's Brother Jericho Reportedly Still Alive

Photo: Facebook/Cecil the Lion
UPDATE: Reports of Jericho's death may have been inaccurate, Reuters is now reporting.

"He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell," Brent Stapelkamp told Reuters, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project which is monitoring the lion with a GPS tag.

"When I heard that report, I had a look on the computer and his movements look regular."

We're following this story and will update with new information.

The brother of slain Cecil the lion, named Jericho, was killed Saturday in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, CNN is reporting. Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told CNN that Jericho was gunned down by a hunter operating illegally.

Since a game-hunting Minnesota dentist lured away and killed Cecil the lion, many have worried about the fate of his two cubs. In a blog post, David Macdonald, project manager of Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Unit, noted how the cubs were now vulnerable to being killed as well, not by dentists on a Zimbabwean holiday, but by rival lions also residing in Hwange National Park . "As you probably know, the natural law in lion society is that when a male dies and his weakened coalition is usurped, the new incoming males kill their predecessors’ cubs," Macdonald wrote.

But fortunately in lion society, brothers may also stick together to protect their own pride. As a result, Cecil's brother Jericho has been watching over the pair of newly fatherless cubs. " [A fatal attack on the cubs] may not happen because Cecil’s brother is still holding the fort," Macdonald wrote.

Although the Oxford conservationists haven't been tracking the cubs, CNN reports Macdonald is confident for their wellbeing, thanks to Jericho.

Meanwhile, nobody's jumping to safeguard the well-being of Cecil's poacher, Walter Palmer. Zimbabwe has initiated proceedings to extradite Palmer from the United States. "People really feel strongly that he must also face trial," Zimbabwean diplomat and Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Chibuwe told Reuters.

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