Zimbabwe men arrested in connection to illegal killing of Cecil the lion appear in court

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Two men arrested for illegally hunting a protected lion are in court in Zimbabwe to face poaching charges.

The men — a professional hunter and a farm owner — are accused of helping an American tourist hunt the lion named Cecil.

The two Zimbabwean men appeared on Wednesday at the Hwange magistrate’s court, about 435 miles (700 kilometers) west of the capital Harare. Zimbabwean police said they are looking for the American tourist, identified as Walter James Palmer, who allegedly paid $50,000 to track and kill the animal.

Palmer, a dentist living in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, said in a statement that he was unaware the lion was protected, relying on local guides to ensure a legal hunt..

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