Reports in the international media that poachers have shot and killed Jericho, the brother of Zimbabwe's most famous lion, Cecil, are likely false.
A lion expert who had been monitoring Jericho told the Guardian that recent satellite data showed that Jericho was not only "alive and well" but had spent most of the day with a female lion.
Cecil was shot and skinned last month by an American trophy hunter after being lured out of the national park where he was protected.
However, in a statement posted earlier today on Facebook, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Johnny Rodrigues said: "It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Jericho was shot dead at 4pm this afternoon.
"We are absolutely heartbroken. We have no further details but will advise as soon as we know more."
The announcement that Jericho had been shot by poachers was swiftly picked up by social media, causing consternation among animal lovers outraged by dentist Walter Palmer's killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe's best-known lion.
Zimbabwe's parks authority has announced restrictions on hunting around Hwange park, including an immediate suspension of the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants.