Zimbabwe Partially Lifts Ban on Big Game Hunting Around Cecil’s Park

In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The head of Zimbabwe’s safari association said the killing was unethical and that it couldn’t even be classified as a hunt, since the lion killed by an American dentist was lured into the kill zone. (Andy Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Research Unit via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The head of Zimbabwe’s safari association said the killing was unethical and that it couldn’t even be classified as a hunt, since the lion killed by an American dentist was lured into the kill zone. (Andy Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Research Unit via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. (Andy Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Research Unit via AP)

(Reuters) – Zimbabwe has partially lifted a ban on big-game hunting around Hwange National Park that was imposed after an international outcry over the killing of Cecil, the country’s most prized lion, by an American dentist last month.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday that the ban remained in place for two private game parks and rural communities near the park. In the areas where it has been rescinded, all lion, leopard and elephant hunts must be supervised by park staff.

Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, was killed on one of the farms adjacent to the park where the ban on big game hunts, first imposed on Aug. 1, remains in force.

Authorities in Zimbabwe imposed the indefinite ban after it emerged that American hunter Walter Palmer had killed Cecil with a bow and arrow after, they say, his guides used bait to lure the big cat out of the park’s protective embrace.

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