Zimbabwe arrests man linked to Cecil killer on new wildlife charges

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 15, 2015 12:58 PM

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean police on Tuesday arrested a local hunter who was linked to the killing of Cecil the lion in July on new charges of transporting 29 sable antelopes without a permit and as accomplice to smuggling the animals.

Theo Bronkhorst already faces trial on Sept. 28 on charges of breaching hunting rules by helping an American dentist kill the 13-year-old rare black-manned Cecil outside Hwange wildlife park. The lion's death sparked a global outcry from animal lovers.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told Reuters that Bronkhorst was arrested in the second city of Bulawayo and would appear in court in the southern town of Beitbridge on Wednesday.

Three South African men were charged in court on Saturday for illegally capturing the sables and attempting to export them without a permit.

Police say the three men took the sables from a private game park in the resort town of Victoria Falls on Sept. 11 and drove to an illegal crossing point on the Limpopo River in Beitbridge.

The crime was discovered when the trucks carrying the sables got stuck on the river, leading to the arrest of the men.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Dominic Evans)