After the killing of Cecil the lion by a Minnesota dentist made headlines, Cecil’s successor as leader of the pride at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe isn’t taking any chances.
TMZ.com reports that the new leader, Jericho, has a security team in place to ensure that the animal isn’t hunted and killed.
“An official from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force tells TMZ, a research team is monitoring Jericho’s every move and are ready to pounce if anything looks suspicious,” the website reports. “Jericho has taken over alpha male duties for the pride, and if he’s killed the animals that were once under Cecil’s watch will be unprotected in the wild.”
Cecil was hunted and killed last month by Walter Palmer, a recreational big game hunter with a dental practice in Bloomington, Minn. The animal was reportedly lured out of his protected habitat, where he had been a part of tracking studies for years and had become a local favorite among tourists. Palmer reportedly paid $50,000 to have locals set up the hunt.
The incident caught the attention of Jimmy Kimmel, who talked about it in a video you can watch below.
Researchers are reportedly tracking Jericho with a GPS unit, and officials have placed a ban on hunting lions in the vicinity of the park.