Birdwatching in Zimbabwe


This video is called [B]Vumba Botanical Garden, Zimbabwe, 4 14 2016.

From BirdLife:

15 Dec 2017

Local guide looks after his stars

A lot of young people who live in and around Zimbabwe’s Bvumba Highlands IBA know a lot more about birds, because of local guide and BirdLife Nature’s Hero Peter Magosvongwe.

By Nick Langley

“Watch the White-starred Robin flash that star! Listen to the Crowing Crested Cobra!” says the publicity leaflet which introduces bird guide Peter Magosvongwe, nominated by BirdLife Zimbabwe as one of 2017’s Nature’s Heroes. The crowing call of the cobra, said by British settlers to be over 20 feet long and ornamented with the comb and wattles of a chicken, was eventually found to be the mating cry of the small and unobtrusive Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans, one of the birds which Peter Magosvongwe can help you find.

As the leaflet continues, Peter knows the special birds, and he knows their calls, and he can take you to the right places at the right time to see and hear them. And, he modestly adds, he does not know everything, and you can help him too.

A lot of young people who live in and around Zimbabwe’s Bvumba Highlands IBA know a lot more about birds, because Peter Magosvongwe visits their schools to talk to them and their teachers. He has helped establish bird clubs in the schools, and also led or organised birding activities with school children. His awareness-raising work includes taking visitors on walks in the IBA. He is an active member of the Bvumba Site Support Group, and for more than ten years has been mobilising community members to support bird conservation in the area. He does all this on a voluntary basis, in the time he has to spare from his work as a guide.

Among the 242 species recorded at the Bvumba IBA are three restricted-range species, and three of global conservation concern. The globally Vulnerable Swynnerton’s Robin (Swynnertonia swynnertoni) fits both categories. Peter Magosvongwe has been actively involved in monitoring Swynnerton’s Robin at the site, and his work to protect the forest and to remove invasive plants from the site has helped ensure that the Bvumba Forest Reserves remain the easiest place to see this bird, which occurs only at a few mountain sites in eastern Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“Peter’s work has contributed to the conservation of the Swynnerton’s Robin and other forest birds found in the Bvumba, and he is directly involved in monitoring of birds and their habitats in Bvumba Highlands” says BLZ’s Togarasei Fakarayi, who nominated Peter for the Nature’s Heroes award. “Peter’s education and awareness activities have contributed to changes of behaviour among some local people, especially children, who grow up with positive thinking towards bird and habitat conservation. He has taken a leading role in this community in protecting the forest.”

At present, Peter Magosvongwe is chairman of the Bvumba Site Support Group, and in addition to organising conservation activities, he teaches the members bird identification skills.

As Peter’s leaflet says, the Bvumba Highlands “is an area of beautiful birds, rare birds, and strange birds, to be found in magnificent surroundings, easily accessible and amongst friendly people”. If you intend to visit, you know who to ask for. And if you want to hear the Crowing Crested Cobra, there really is only one guide you could choose.

The 45 members of the Masangoni Birdlife Group have been awarded the status of Nature’s Heroes, for their work in protecting the biodiversity of one of Zimbabwe’s most rugged and inaccessible Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs): here.

Saving wetland birds in Zimbabwe


This video is called Birdlife Zimbabwe – 2015 World Wetlands Day.

From BirdLife:

Conserving Harare’s wetlands for sustainable use

By Julia Pierini, 8 Feb 2017

Harare is the main city in Zimbabwe, situated in the Upper Manyame Catchment Basin that drains into Lakes Chivero and Manyame; which are important water sources for the City. The vleis, dambos, marshes and open green spaces in the city are a primary source of water for the streams that flow into the Manyame River. These exceptionally bio diverse, seasonally inundated and open grassland swamps have remained untouched until 15 years ago, when the population of Greater Harare began to grow rapidly, mostly due to migration from rural areas into the cities.

Resulting pressures from development, unregulated agriculture and pollution have led to the rapid loss of some important wetlands. This has seriously affected the biodiversity of the wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide, including the fundamental service of fresh water provision for the citizens of Greater Harare.

In 2001, the Monavale Residents Environmental Action Group was formed to prevent horticultural activities on Monavale Vlei, one of the few marshy areas that have remained well-preserved in Harare. It started as a Site Support Group (SSG) of BirdLife Zimbabwe (BLZ, BirdLife Partner), but eventually became a community based organisation under the name Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO). BirdLife Zimbabwe and COSMO have worked closely together to advocate the preservation of all wetlands in Harare, including Monavale Vlei which is an important breeding site for wet grassland migrant bird species like the Striped Crake Amaurornis marginalis and Streaky-breasted Flufftail Sarothrura boehmi. BLZ and COSMO influenced Zimbabwe’s accession to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 2013. Monavale Vlei was later identified as a Ramsar Site.

One year later, developers approached the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), with a project to develop cluster homes on the Monavale wetlands. The project was rejected by EMA. However, the developers went ahead to secure a permit from Harare city authorities in December 2015, allowing them to implement their project on the site. BirdLife Zimbabwe and COSMO jointly filed an appeal against the approval, as required by law and in 2016, joined forces with other civil society organisations and groups to form a coalition chaired by BirdLife Zimbabwe’s Chief Executive Officer. The coalition raised sufficient funds to continue with the legal resistance.

In November 2016, the court ruled in favour of the coalition and declared that Monavale Vlei was not open to developers, referring to the Environmental Management Act.

The Environmental Management Act in Zimbabwe restricts development works on wetlands. However, this law is not always respected. The law requires that developers obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate from EMA – the agency managing environment – before they are issued a permit to carry on with a project on a wetland.

The Monavale Vlei ruling was an important step towards sustainable conservation of wetlands that offer a breeding site for birds in cities, and a healthy place where people live in harmony with nature.

Zimbabwe’s life-giving wetlands saved from cluster home fate. Vital advocacy work from BirdLife’s Zimbabwean Partner has halted one of Harare’s neighbouring wetlands from becoming a building site – a big win both for the capital’s nature, and its people: here.

‘Extinct’ frog rediscovered in Zimbabwe


Cave squeaker frog, photo by Francois Becker

By Dominique Mosbergen, Reporter, The Huffington Post:

Tiny Frog Last Seen In 1962 Found In The Mountains Of Zimbabwe

Scientists were thrilled to find the inch-long “cave squeaker” alive and well.

02/07/2017 10:21 am ET

Francois Becker knows his frog calls ― and he knows them well. But in early December, while conducting research near the summit of a remote mountain in eastern Zimbabwe, the ecologist heard a call he could not quite place.

“When I first heard [it], I thought it might be an insect,” Becker, a graduate student at the University of Cape Town, told The Huffington Post over email on Monday. “It was a soft, high-pitched whistle repeated several times.”

But as he got closer to the sound, Becker determined that it wasn’t an insect at all. “The ‘texture’ of the call, for lack of a better word, confirmed that it was probably a frog,” he said. Specifically, a kind of Arthroleptis frog.

Arthroleptis is a genus of frogs endemic to tropical sub-Saharan Africa. They’re known for their high-pitched whistling calls and tiny stature (the largest species of the genus, Arthroleptis tanneri, grows to just two inches long). They are also direct breeders, meaning they ― unlike most other frogs — are born as fully formed froglets and not as tadpoles.

“Francois had done a great deal of work on [Arthroleptis frogs] in South Africa, and had paid particular attention to their calls,” Becker’s research colleague, Robert Hopkins, told The Zimbabwean in an interview last month. “He heard a call which he recognized as that of an Arthroleptis, but did not or could not identify it, so he tracked that call and ultimately found the first specimen.”

The source of the unusual whistle turned out to be an unimaginable treasure: a rare cave-dwelling frog that had not been seen in over 50 years.

This is Arthroleptis troglodytes, also known as a “cave squeaker.” Becker took the first photos of the species ever.

The cave squeaker was last spotted in the rocky Chimanimani mountains of eastern Zimbabwe in 1962, the year it was first discovered. The minuscule animal measures no more than an inch long, and scientists assumed it was extinct after several unsuccessful searches, including a 2010 expedition.

Hopkins, a 75-year-old researcher with Zimbabwe’s Natural History Museum, had been searching for the frog since 1998, to no avail.

In a last-ditch attempt to find the elusive animal, he applied for a grant from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund last year to conduct another search. He roped in Becker and a Zimbabwean entomologist named Scott Herbst. In December, the group headed to the mountains of Chimanimani, the only place the frog was known to exist.

Hopkins, who has cancer, was not able to participate in the search effort due to his age and illness, he explained in a research report. So he was in Chimanimani village on Dec. 2 when he received a phone call from a “very excited” Becker.

“[H]e had located an Arthroleptis troglodytes,” wrote Hopkins in the report. “It was great surprise and release after all these years.”

Remarkably, Becker didn’t just find one lonesome cave squeaker that day, but several.

He said it had taken him about 45 minutes to track down the first frog after hearing its call. “I was so excited when I saw it that my hands were shaking, and I let it slip away,” he recalled. “It hopped into a deep crevice and I could no longer see it. However, by this time I had recorded the call and was playing it back to them, to prompt other nearby males to start calling. It took me about another 40 minutes to find the next one.”

Becker and his team, which also included two local guides, collected three males and one female that day.

Hopkins said they gathered a “great deal of data,” including DNA samples that have been sent for analysis. Hopkins said the cave squeakers appear to be “breeding well” in the Chimanimani mountains.

There seems to be a very viable population,” he wrote in the report. The exact number of frogs, however, remains unknown.

Scientists are now considering conservation strategies for the frog species. Hopkins told The Zimbabwean that he, together with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, are mulling over the possibility of breeding cave squeakers in his laboratory and releasing them back into the wild.

Hopkins worries that the recent discovery will prompt people to illegally capture and export cave squeakers from Chimanimani. A Parks Authority spokeswoman told The Associated Press this week that experts are devising a management plan to protect the animal. 

“We are expecting an influx of scientists looking for it,” said Caroline Washaya-Moyo. “We will do everything in our power to protect and conserve the frog.”

Amphibians, including frogs, are one of the most threatened groups of animals on the planet. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, about 1 in 3 amphibians face the threat of extinction. Climate change, habitat destruction and disease are some of the greatest threats facing frogs and other amphibians.

A 2011 study found that amphibians may not be evolving fast enough to deal with the “enormous” human-induced changes to the environment over the past 100 years.

“With a permeable skin and exposure to both aquatic and terrestrial problems, amphibians face a double whammy,” zoologist Andrew Blaustein, co-author of the study, told LiveScience at the time. “Because of this, mammals, fish and birds have not [yet] experienced population impacts as severely as amphibians.”

World Frog Day

African rhino saved from tyre around his snout


This video says about itself:

16 October 2016

Dramatic Rhino Rescue After Snout Stuck in Tyre

Vets had to be called in to rescue a wild rhino that got a tyre stuck over its snout and was unable to eat or drink. The animal, which was in one of Zimbabwe‘s rhino protection zone parks, became entangled in the tyre which had been dumped in a watering hole on the site. Rangers alerted vets from the Aware Trust charity who came and tranquilized the white rhino – called Mark by park workers – before carefully removing the tyre.

“Rangers thought he’d be able to dislodge it himself but as he continued to thrash around in frustration it became apparent the tyre was firmly stuck behind his front horn stub. “No amount of straining was going to enlarge the tyre’s central hole. Mark’s mouth was bound firmly shut and he couldn’t eat or drink.

“We found Mark, the dominant bull, lying close to his girlfriends, looking decidedly dejected and exhausted from his ordeal. “Fortunately the tyre came off in a few minutes with man power, and we did not have to resort to cutting through it. Eleven minutes later he was antidoted and grazing again as if nothing had happened.” The spokesperson said that because the part of Zimbabwe where the park lies is suffering from a drought, the lake where the animals get their water has receded and pollutants such as tyres and nets are emerging frequently.

The video features a cattle egret as well.

Zimbabwe mining boss jailed for poisoning elephants


This video says about itself:

Baby elephant rescued from water trough in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

14 January 2016

The rescue of a baby elephant stuck illustrates the amazing compassion and intelligence of elephants!

From Nehanda Radio in Zimbabwe, 16 December 2015:

HARARE – Godfrey Nyakudya, who is also Managing Director of Bulawayo based mining consumable entity Chaferfly Enterprises, has been fingered in the cyanide poaching in most parts of the country, Nehanda Radio can exclusively reveal.

Nyakudya is partner and close ally of Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Mines, Fred Moyo. Currently Nyakudya is reported to be in hiding at a rented house near the University of Zimbabwe main campus as he dodges the long arm of the law.

Nyakudya, founder of Chaferfly Enterprises located at 19 Woolwich Road, Thorngrove, Bulawayo, is wanted in connection with the manner in which he dealt with the poisonous substance, cyanide, used during the chemical poaching in Zimbabwe since 2013.

More than 300 elephants were killed in the Hwange National Park, between 2013 and 2014 by unknown assailants and 100 more died of cyanide poisoning across the country this year.

According to this source today, police have meanwhile arrested Mr Nyakudya. He will appear in court next week.

The drones saving animals from poachers in Zimbabwe.

Stop lion killing, British Parliament debate


This video from Zimbabwe says about itself:

26 July 2015

Footage of Cecil the iconic lion of Hwange with his pride. Tragically killed illegally in July 2015. R.I.P Cecil.

From LionAid in Britain:

URGENT CALL TO ACTION!!!!!!

Thursday 19th November 2015

NO MORE CECILS

We have just been informed that LionAid have secured a Debate in the UK Parliament, calling for the UK to reject any further involvement in either canned hunting or trophy hunting of wild lions for sport.

We are delighted that that the Rt Hon David Jones MP will deliver this Adjournment Debate in Westminster Hall on the 24th November at 4pm.

We now need everyone in the UK who was horrified by the slaying of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe to contact their MP as soon as possible, urging attendance at this important Debate. Let your MP know that this is an important matter for you and you would like your MP to represent you at the Debate, urging a cessation of any further lion trophy imports into the UK.

You can find your MP here.

There is not much time as the Debate is this coming Tuesday but if you contact your MP as soon as possible by phone or email, you CAN make sure that your MP attends this Debate.

Just two days ago, France became the first EU Member State and the second world nation (after Australia) to ban the import of lion trophies. Let us work now to convince the UK Government to bring in a ban to match that of France.

Indeed, Grant Shapps was quoted as saying that Cecil’s death was barbaric and that the UK were keen to outlaw such practices. Now is the time for all the MPs that represent you all to be in Westminster Hall on Tuesday at 4pm and add their condemnation of lion trophies being allowed into the UK.

On Friday next week, the UK Premiere of Blood Lions will be screened at the Royal Geographical Society. This documentary shows in dramatic detail the hideous industry of canned lion hunting. It shocks everyone who sees it.

Let us now seize the initiative and make every effort to convince the UK to do the honourable thing and BAN ALL FURTHER IMPORTS OF LION TROPHIES ONTO UK SOIL.

LionAid will, of course, be in attendance at the Debate on Tuesday and we hope that with your help now, we can make sure that very many MPS attend and make their voices heard.

This video from Zimbabwe says about itself:

Cecil’s Cubs – His Legacy

28 July 2015

Video footage of Cecil’s Cubs and [lioness] Gracie.

British author Doris Lessing spied on by secret police


This video is called Re-Reading Doris Lessing‘s ‘The Golden Notebook’: Ten Years Later.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

MI5 spied on Doris Lessing for 20 years, declassified documents reveal

Newly released and redacted British intelligence files refer to author from early 1940s to long after her break from communist party in 1956

Richard Norton-Taylor

Friday 21 August 2015 00.01 BST

MI5 targeted the Nobel prize-winning author Doris Lessing for 20 years, listening to her phone conversations, opening her mail and closely monitoring her movements, previously top secret files reveal. The files show the extent to which MI5, helped by the Met police special branch, spied on the writer, her friends and associates, long after she abandoned communism, disgusted by the crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956.

MI5 was concerned about her continuing fierce opposition to colonialism, the files, released at the National Archives on Friday, make clear.

Lessing first came to MI5’s notice in the early 1940s in Southern Rhodesia when, as Doris Tayler, she married Gottfried Lessing, a communist activist and leading figure in the Left Book Club. …

From British daily The Independent, quoting MI5:

One memo to London said: “The general tone of the club is reported to be very left, and it is stated that most topics of discussion there usually end up in anti-British, anti-capital and anti-imperialist vapourings.”

The BBC quotes MI5 that it was ‘a club “patronised by persons with foreign accents”‘ Gottfried Lessing, Doris’ husband, was a refugee from nazi Germany of Jewish ancestry, so probably spoke English with a German accent.

The Richard Norton-Taylor article continues:

She kept his surname when the marriage ended and she left Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she was brought up, and moved to Britain in 1949.

MI5 stepped up its spying on her when, in the course of its permanent bugging of the British Communist party’s headquarters in King Street, Covent Garden, her name (initially misheard as Lacey) came up in a conversation.

From British daily The Independent, quoting MI5:

One 1951 report in her Security Service personal file said: “Doris Lessing has been described as certainly pro-Communist although it is doubtful if she is a party member. Her Rhodesian background has brought out in her a deep hatred of the colour bar which has now reached the point of fanaticism. In this way her Communist sympathies have been increased.”

The Richard Norton-Taylor article continues:

In 1952, MI6 passed to MI5 what it called “character sketches” of members of a visit to Moscow by a number of British authors, the files released on Friday reveal. Under the name Miss Doris Lessing, it wrote: “Her communist sympathies have been fanned almost to the point of fanaticism owing to her upbringing in Rhodesia, which has brought out in her a deep hatred of the colour bar.”

MI6 added: “Colonial exploitation is her pet theme and she has now nearly become as irresponsible in her statements as … saying that everything black is wonderful and that all men and all things white are vicious.”

… In 1956, Special Branch informed MI5 that Lessing, whom it described as “of plump build”, had moved into a flat in Warwick Road, London SW5. “Her flat is frequently visited by persons of various nationality,” it reported, “including Americans, Indians, Chinese and Negroes.” The report added: “It is possible that the flat is being used for immoral purposes.”

But 1956 proved tumultuous for Lessing. She was banned from South Africa and Rhodesia.

From British daily The Independent:

Lessing, who was expelled from South Africa during the trip after an alert to the apartheid country’s police force from London, was also followed onto a flight back to Britain and observed to be writing in a large black notebook which her tail considered suspicious because the author covered what she had written each time someone came past.

An attempt to find the notebook in her luggage upon her return to London airport was abandoned because of fears it would alert Lessing to MI5’s scrutiny.

While the author, who died in 2013 aged 94, maintained her radical politics throughout her life, her MI5 file reveals nothing to suggest she was an active threat to national security.

The Richard Norton-Taylor article continues:

Then came Moscow’s violent suppression of the Hungarian uprising. MI5 reported a fraught meeting at the communist party headquarters where Lessing agreed to sign a letter exposing “the grave crimes and abuses of the USSR and the recent revolt of workers and intellectuals against the pseudo Communist bureaucracies and police systems”. …

Lessing, an MI5 file notes, resigned from the Communist party and rejected an appeal from party officials to change her mind.

Early the following year, 1957, an MI5 source described Lessing as “disgusted with the Russian action in Hungary”, and attacking the attitude of the British communist party as “hopeless and gutless”. The same source described her as “an attractive, forceful, dangerous, woman, ruthless if need be”. …

MI5 continued to monitor Lessing’s movements, speeches and writing, and eagerly passed titbits on to the South African police. MI5 officers make clear they chose not to believe that she had “broken completely” with the Communist party, as one file puts it. In 1960, a Special Branch officer told MI5 she attended an “inaugural discussion” of the anti-war group, the Committee of 100, at Friends’ House on the Euston Road, London.

In November 1962, six years after she left the Communist party, an MI5 officer wrote, in a file stamped “secret and personal”: “She is known to have retained extreme leftwing views and she takes an interest in African affairs as an avowed opponent of racial discrimination. In more recent years, she has associated herself with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.”

This is the last entry in the intelligence files on her released on Friday, two years after her death. Official weeders have taken out some pages and passages, partly to protect the name of informants. They may be released at a later date.

In 2007, aged 88, Lessing, who made no secret of her political views, became the oldest winner of the Nobel prize for literature. She died in November 2013, aged 94.

The files released on Friday reveal that MI5 also kept a close watch on prominent figures of the left who were never members of the Communist party. They include the brothers David and Martin Ennals: the former became social services secretary in Callaghan’s 1976 Labour government and was later ennobled, the latter became general secretary of the National Council of Civil Liberties, a founder member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and secretary general of Amnesty International.

An anxious Foreign Office diplomat wrote shortly after the end of the second world war to Roger Hollis, who later became head of MI5, asking about the pair. MI5 replied that its files on the Ennals brothers had been “in great demand recently”. MI5 was concerned that UN groups, in which it said both brothers were involved, might be infiltrated by the Communist party. MI5 noted that Martin was “well known to Special Branch for his activities in the Anti-Apartheid Movement”.

The MI5 files contain extracts of Harold Laski’s private correspondence that were intercepted because it was worried about his alleged communist connections. His private communications were intercepted, though MI5 reported to the Home Office in 1933 that he was “not a Communist”. Laski was chairman of the Labour party at the time of its landslide victory in the 1945 general election.

Cecil the lion killed, court charges


This video is called The Hide, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

From Reuters news agency:

Zimbabwe Court Charges Game Park Owner Over Cecil The Lion

He has been accused of letting an American tourist illegally hunt and kill Cecil.

HARARE – The game park owner accused of letting an American tourist illegally hunt and kill a lion on his property in Zimbabwe has been charged in connection with the killing and released on bail in Hwange, his lawyer said.

The killing of Cecil, a 13-year-old, rare, black-maned lion and a popular tourist attraction, caused global consternation and triggered a major backlash against Africa’s multi-million dollar hunting industry.

Honest Ndlovu owns the game park into which Cecil was lured from the adjacent Hwange National Park and shot with a bow and arrow by American dentist Walter Palmer.

A copy of the charge sheet seen by Reuters said Ndlovu was charged with permitting “a person who is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe to hunt the said animal which was not on the hunting quota.”

His lawyer Tonderai Mukuku said Ndlovu denies the charge and was set free on $200 bail. He will return to court on Sept. 18.

The same Hwange court last week postponed until Sept. 28 the trial of local hunter Theo Bronkhorst.

Bronkhorst, who acted as Palmer’s guide, is accused of failing to prevent Palmer from killing Cecil, who had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study, and was a favorite with tourists visiting Hwange park.

Zimbabwe wants Palmer, 55, extradited from the United States to face trial.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Before Cecil the lion, Walter Palmer poached American black bear


Walter Palmer, crossbow and poached black bear in 2008, photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

From ABC News in the USA:

See Photos of Black Bear Illegally Hunted by Dentist Walter Palmer Who Killed Cecil the Lion

Aug 13, 2015, 8:19 PM ET

By TAMI SHEHERI, TOM BERMAN and ALEXA VALIENTE

Photos recently obtained by ABC News’ “20/20” show Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer posing with the large black bear he illegally killed while hunting in Wisconsin in 2006.

ABC News’ “20/20” obtained photos through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Watch the full story on ABC News’ “20/20” on Friday, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. ET.

Palmer has been avoiding the public eye since the world learned that he killed Cecil, a well-known 13-year-old male lion, just outside Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe. He allegedly paid veteran safari guide Theo Bronkhorst at least $50,000 to help him bag a big lion in Zimbabwe when he went on safari last month. In an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph, Bronkhorst said their hunt was delayed and he and Palmer instead went to hunt on a farm abutting Hwange National Park, rather than an approved area.

An accomplished bow hunter, Palmer has hunted big game around the world, including moose, deer, buffalo, mountain lions and even a polar bear, according to the New York Times. And he had gotten into trouble in the past.

In 2003, Palmer was convicted of a misdemeanor in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, for fishing without a license and paid a small fine. Three years later, in September 2006, Palmer was hunting black bear in northern Wisconsin when he shot a bear in an area where he wasn’t allowed to hunt, shown in these photos below.

According to court documents, Palmer had a permit to kill a bear in one county, but he shot the bear 40 miles from away in an area where he did not have a permit to hunt.

“As soon as the bear was killed, Palmer and the three guys he was with — guides — they agreed they would lie about it,” U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil told “20/20.”

Vaudreuil got involved when Palmer took the bear across state lines back to Minnesota.

“He was lying to us. He was offering to pay, it turns out, about $20,000 to keep the others who were in the hunt, to have them lie, so that’s a fairly aggressive cover-up,” Vaudreuil said.

But the bear guides didn’t lie to authorities. In 2008, Palmer pleaded guilty to felony charges of making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the black bear he shot and killed outside of the authorized hunting zone, according to court documents. He paid $2,938 in fines and was sentenced to a year of probation.

In connection with Cecil the lion’s death, Zimbabwe’s environment, water and climate minister, Oppah Muchiniguri, said at a news conference last month that the Zimbabwe government was seeking to extradite Palmer for hunting without the proper permits. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened its own investigation. …

Police arrested Bronkhorst, and he and a farm landowner named Honest Trymore Ndlovu are facing criminal poaching charges in connection with Cecil‘s death. Bronkhorst told authorities that Palmer fired the final blow that killed Cecil.

Cecil the lion: Dentist Walter Palmer tried to BRIBE guides to ‘cover-up’ his illegal bear hunt: here. And here.

Walter Palmer’s Odyssey Didn’t Begin With Cecil — Dentist Allegedly Made Habit Of Illegal Hunting: here.