Hunter of Cecil the lion tells AFP he did ‘nothing wrong’
Professional Zimbabwean hunter Theo Bronkhorst told AFP Friday he did nothing wrong on the hunt that killed Cecil the lion, adding he was shocked to find the animal was wearing a tracking collar.
“I don’t believe I failed in any duties at all, I was engaged by a client to do a hunt for him and we shot an old male lion that I believed was past his breeding age. I don’t think that I’ve done anything wrong,” Bronkhorst said in telephone interview.
Bronkhurst’s client, US dentist Walter Palmer, has gone into hiding amid a global outpouring of anger after he used a bow and arrow to shoot Cecil, a popular draw for tourists at the Hwange National Park.
“Both I and the client were extremely devastated that this thing had a collar on because at no time did we see a collar on this lion prior to shooting it.
“We were devastated… I left the collar there at the bait site and unfortunately that was stupid of me and negligent of me.”
Bronkhorst was granted bail by the Hwange court on Wednesday after being charged with “failing to prevent an illegal hunt” when he led the expedition in early July.
He is due to stand trial on August 5.
“We had obtained the permit for bow hunting, we had obtained the permit for the lion from the council,” he said, speaking from Bulawayo.
“We had done everything above board.
“I don’t foresee any jail sentence at all, I think it’s been blown out of proportion by social media and I think it’s been a deliberate ploy to ban all hunting and especially lion hunting in Zimbabwe.”