Zimbabwe has lifted a ban on big-game hunting after less than two weeks after the death of Cecil the lion, officials told NBC News on Monday.
The country suspended hunting on August 1 in the area surrounding Hwange National Park. This was where Cecil was killed by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer with a bow in an incident that provoked international outrage.
Just 10 days after the moratorium was imposed, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said it had been be axed across most of that area.
The ban remains in place on farmland where Cecil died, as well as several other farms were officials allege animals were killed illegally, parks spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo told NBC News.
Those exceptions will be reviewed following the trial of Theo Bronkhorst, the hunter who allegedly helped 55-year-old Palmer illegally hunt the animal. Palmer said he trusted his guides and believed he had the correct permits to kill the lion.
Anyone convicted of illegal hunting would be blocked from getting permits for life, "as they tarnish the image of the hunting industry, the authority and the country at large," Washaya-Moyo said, adding that "their actions border on economic sabotage."
The announcement that the ban was lifted came after a meeting between the parks authority and representatives from the hunting industry last week. Their recommendations have since been approved by the government, Washaya-Moyo said.
All hunts would now be subject to stricter rules, she added, with participants having to be accompanied by national parks staff at all times and required to submit detailed reports of the kill.
Bow hunting was also suspended unless the hunter had written permission from the national parks director general, the spokeswoman added.