Less than 10 days after it began, Zimbabwe’s suspension on big game hunting has officially been lifted.
On August 1, Zimbabwe instituted a temporary ban on lion, leopard, and elephant hunting, following global outrage over the killing of a famed lion known as Cecil by American Walter Palmer.
Following meetings with hunting industry groups, the Ministry of Environment says they will now once again allow trophy hunting in most of Zimbabwe.
Big game hunting will still be suspended in several game reserves through the area, pending the outcome of ongoing court cases. Those areas include the land where Cecil was shot as well as farms where other animals were allegedly killed.
The moratorium will be reviewed following the sentencing of Theo Bronkhorst, the guide accused of helping Palmer illegally kill Cecil. Bronkhorst, who said he believes the hunt was legal, faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.
In a press release, the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association said the lifting of the suspension comes with some conditions meant to address the problems behind the recent killing of Cecil.
To increase accountability, authorities have introduced additional regulations and paperwork, and trophy hunts will be atteneded by an official from the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Hunters will no longer be permitted to hunt “iconic” or collared animals, and those caught illegal hunting will be banned for life from hunting in Zimbabwe.