PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A local doctor accused of illegally killing a lion in April issued a statement declaring his innocence Tuesday.
According to Zimbabwe’s National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Jan Casimir Seski, 68, of Murrysville, shot the lion with a bow and arrow near Hwange National Park, without approval and on land where it was not allowed.
Seski, a gynecological oncologist who directs the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, is a big-game hunter according to safari outfitters and bow-hunting sites. Kill shots on the sites identify “Dr. Jan Seski” as the man standing next to slain animals including elephants, a hippo, an ostrich and antelopes such as an impala, a kudu, and a nyala.
Today, Seski’s lawyer issued a statement on his behalf:
“Recently, there have been media reports naming Dr. Jan Seski in connection with the killing of a lion in Zimbabwe in April 2015. Those reports are not accurate. During April of this year, Dr. Seski was at his home in the Pittsburgh area treating the cancer patients that rely on him for their care through the medical practice that he has maintained since 1981.
Dr. Seski did travel to Zimbabwe in July of this year and participated in a lawfully permitted hunt. During this trip, Dr. Seski did lawfully hunt and take a lion. As required by the rules in Zimbabwe, he promptly notified the Zimbabwean authorities and provided them with all of the information and paperwork required by law. He ensured that he was at all times in compliance with all rules, regulations and laws, and had the necessary permits required by Zimbabwe.
Dr. Seski urgently wishes to return to his medical practice and to continue serving his patients. As he has for the past 35 years, that is where Dr. Seski intends to focus his energy and attention.”
Previously, Seski has donated specimens to the Carnegie Museum of Natural Science. Today, they also issued a statement:
“The museum is reviewing the circumstances of the donated specimens in light of international practice standards published since the donations were made. If they are found to be in conflict with those standards, we will return them to the donor.”
In addition to his job at AGH, Seski has several offices around the city, including one in Oakland near the University of Pittsburgh.
Allegheny Health Network released a statement Monday afternoon:
“Dr. Jan Seski is an independent physician not employed by Allegheny Health Network who has provided care to gynecologic cancer patients at hospitals throughout the Pittsburgh region for decades and who has been a leader in the field of bloodless medicine. We expect that Dr. Seski will continue to care for his patients as he attends to personal matters related to his recent hunting expedition in Africa. We understand that concerns have been raised about Dr. Seski’s activities in Africa, appreciate the sensitivities of those issues and will continue to monitor the situation appropriately.”
Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the Hwange area, and said Saturday that bow and arrow hunts can be approved only by the head of the wildlife authority.
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