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Cecil the Lion's 'Brother,' Jericho, Feared Dead: Conservation Group

The brother of a famed lion who was killed by an American dentist in Zimbabwe in early July was killed Saturday, according to a consevation group.
Image: Cecil the lion fighting with Jericho
Cecil the lion, right, fighting with Jericho in May, 2014. Solent News/REX Shutterstock / AP

The "brother" of Cecil, the famed lion that was killed by an American dentist in early July, was feared dead after being shot, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Saturday.

But there was a conflicting report from at least one other local wildlife organization that Jericho was not killed. Brent Stapelkamp, with the SATIB Conservation Trust's Hwange Lion Research, said that the creature's GPS was sending a signal and the lion appeared to be alive, according to Reuters.

Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a statement that it is with “huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed" at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET).

"We are absolutely heart broken," they added.

Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Unit, which studied Cecil, said it was trying to get information about Jericho.

“We are seeking to clarify conflicting reports,” an Oxford spokeswoman told NBC News via email.

NBC News has not independently confirmed whether Jericho had been killed nor that the lions were brothers. The Associated Press previously said that Cecil, the lion who was killed July 1, previously "befriended" Jericho, and the two lions cared for two prides together.

Walter James Palmer, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has admitted to killing Cecil, who was a favorite with tourists and tagged as part of a study at the U.K.'s Oxford University. Palmer said he thought his guides had obtained the proper permits for the hunt. Cecil's death has sparked international outrage.

Zimbabwe has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the area where Cecil was killed, the AP reported Saturday.