“He looks alive and well to me as far as I can tell”, said Stapelkamp, who is monitoring the lion with a Global Positioning System tag.

The conservation group Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force had said Saturday that it had been “informed” of the death of Jericho, described as Cecil’s brother.

Palmer said in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper this week that he thought the hunt was legal and he didn’t know Cecil was wearing an electronic collar as part of an Oxford University research project.

The Zimbabwean government has since suspended hunts for lions, leopards and elephants in the area where Cecil was killed, though it has historically allowed hunters to take anywhere from hundreds to thousands of the animals in regulated hunts.

The National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said a doctor from Pennsylvania, named as Jan Casmir Sieski, killed a lion in April.

A lion researcher in Zimbabwe also cast doubt on the report of the shooting death of the second lion.

Jericho had been mentioned in an update by the WCRU unit earlier Saturday, in which Dr. David Macdonald wrote that Jericho, who had previously been mentioned as a potential threat to Cecil’s cubs, was in fact helping to protect them.

Cecil and Jericho are not brothers, but male lions frequently form coalitions with unrelated males in order to successfully hold territories.” he said.

The organization mistakenly identified Jericho Saturday as a lion that was killed in Zimbabwe.

Immediately following the CNN report, Reuters Africa issued a statement saying Jericho may be alright.

Supporters of regulated hunting say it generates revenue for African countries, which can be used on conservation and to discourage poaching.

But if Jericho were killed, the cubs’ chance for survival “is probably gone”, said Dave Salmoni, an apex predator expert for the Animal Planet.

A petition for Mr Palmer to be sent to Zimbabwe to face justice has gained more than 140,000 signatures and the White House has said it will review the petition, reports Sky News.

Palmer is reported to have paid $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil, an iconic black-maned lion. Experts are unable to confirm or deny or whether Jericho was killed.

“The Authority will not hesitate to arrest, prosecute, and ban for life any persons including professional hunters, clients and land owners who are caught on the wrong side of the law”, he said.