Zim govt calls for US to extradite Cecil's killer

Walter Palmer, who killed Cecil, is accused of being involved in poaching.

Cecil the lion was shot and killed by a dentist. Picture: CNN

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's environment minister has called on the US to extradite Walter Palmer, the wealthy Minnesota dentist who paid $50,000 to shoot Cecil the Lion.

The Minister says Cecil was illegally hunted earlier this month, when he was lured out of the Hwange National Park.

Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri has told a press conference that the land owner on whose farm Cecil was killed did not have a quota for a lion hunt.

She's accused US dentist Walter Palmer, who killed Cecil, of being involved in poaching.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition asking the US to extradite Palmer.

Reports from the US say the White House will review that petition - although few in Zimbabwe believe Palmer will be sent there.


Meanwhile, a Zimbabwean newspaper is reporting that the landowner in the Cecil the Lion case still hasn't been charged for his part in the lion's killing.

Professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst, who led the hunt, appeared in court on Wednesday, but while farmer Honest Ndlovu also went to court that day, he wasn't charged.

_The Chronicle _newspaper says prosecutors are still battling to come up with a charge for Honest Ndlovu, the farmer on whose land Cecil was killed.

Prosecutors say he didn't have a quota for lion hunting on his land in the Gwaai conservancy, although he may well have had a quota for hunting different game.

Now it seems that a charge may only be ready for him next Wednesday, which is also when Bronkhorst is due back in court.

The Chronicle says that lion researchers in Hwange realised that Cecil was in trouble early this month when his collar gave out readings showing that he wasn't moving.