Zimbabwean wildlife authorities say two men will appear in court for allegedly killing a well-known lion, whose death is seen as a blow to Zimbabwe's tourism.

The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said Tuesday that a professional hunter and a farm owner face poaching charges that they hunted a protected lion known as Cecil.

The joint statement said the hunter is believed to have lured the lion to a farm where it was killed by an American tourist in Zimbabwe's western Hwange region.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said the American, who allegedly paid $50,000 to kill the animal, is believed to have left the country.

The conservation group said Cecil, recognizable by his black mane, was part of an Oxford University research program.