Jericho: Cecil the Lion's Brother Reportedly Killed By Poachers; Caretakers Dispute Claim

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Earlier this week, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer admitted to killing Cecil - a beloved and protected lion living in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

The public response to the news was so fierce that Palmer was forced into hiding.

He turned himself into authorities on Friday after agreeing to help prosecutors in their efforts to imprison the men who helped Palmer track and kill Cecil.

Today, a new wave outrage swept social media, as several media outlets reported that Cecil's brother Jericho was also killed by poachers.

Jericho the Lion

The news was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, who issued a statement reading, "It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Jericho was shot dead...We are absolutely heartbroken."

Early reports indicated that Jericho was gunned down on within the confines of Hwange National Park. Insiders claimed that like Cecil, Jericho left behind a lioness and cubs, who are now in danger without the presence of a grown male lion.

In the wake of the sad announcement, millions expressed their grief and called for stricter anti-poaching laws on Facebook and Twitter.

Moments ago, however, the Bhejane Trust - a conservation group headquartered in Zimbabwe - issued a statement saying that not only is Jericho alive and well, he is most likely not Cecil's brother:

"False information being put out about Jericho - brother to Cecil - being shot today," the statement reads.

"According to Brent Staplekamp at Hwange Lion Research, Jericho was alive and well at 8:30 tonight and moving around Antoinette Estate (where Cecil was shot) with a female."

Thus far, there is no reliable information regarding how the rumor began or why it was confirmed by the Conservation Task Force.

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