A trophy hunter has shot dead one of Cecil the lion’s cubs in Zimbabwe, just two years after the massively popular lion of Hwange National Park was himself killed. Six-year-old Xanda was killed just outside the park, a short distance from where an American dentist had shot dead Cecil (pictured above) in 2015, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
Xanda, the pride male of a group, was shot on July 7. Researchers found out about his death with the help of an electronic collar he was fitted with to monitor his movements. Andrew Loveridge from Oxford University’s Department of Zoology had fitted Xanda with the collar in October 2016.
“It was monitored almost daily, and we were aware that Xanda and his pride was spending a lot of time out of the park in the last six months, but there is not much we can do about that,” he told The Telegraph. “Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition – a very, very lovely animal,” The Guardian reported Loveridge as saying.
A shooter from RC Safaris, run by Zimbabwean professional hunter Richard Cooke, hunted Xanda. Cooke has handed the collar back to researchers.
Loveridge said the hunt was legal. “Xanda was over six years old, so it is all within the stipulated regulations.” He added that he hoped for a 5-km exclusion zone around the Hwange National Park so hunters do not kill collared lions that venture outside the park’s boundary.
Cecil’s shooting on July 1, 2015, had sparked outrage worldwide, drawing the focus on the sport of trophy hunting in Africa. Walter James Palmer Minnesota, United States, had paid $65,000 (around Rs 42 lakh) to shoot and kill the lion with a bow and arrow.