Reportedly, the hunt was legal.
In 2015, a lion named Cecil was killed, beheaded and skinned by a dentist named Walter Palmer near Hwange National Park. Reportedly, the dentist paid a $55,000 (£35,000) bribe to wildlife guides to allow him to track and kill the animal with a crossbow. After Palmer returned to Minneapolis, he was forced to abandon his dentist practice due to the outrage that arose from killing one of Zimbabwe’s most beloved lions. Now, it has been revealed that Cecil the lion’s oldest cub, Xanda, has also been shot dead by trophy hunters.
Xanda was killed outside the Hwange National Park in northwest Zimbabwe. A father to several young cubs, Xanda was only six years old. The professional hunter accused of killing the lion, Richard Cooke, is also said to have killed the cubs’ brother in 2015. According to The Daily Telegraph, Cooke was the one who handed Xanda’s electric collar to researchers.
Andrew Loveridge, from the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, confirmed this when he said, “I fitted it last October. 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.”
“Richard Cooke is one of the ‘good’ guys. He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened,” Loveridge added. “His hunt was legal and Xanda was over 6 years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.”
The news has been met with grief, outrage, and frustration. Lions of Hwange National Park wrote on its Facebook page:
“Today we heard that a few days ago, Xanda, the son of Cecil the lion has been shot on a trophy hunt by Zimbabwe PH Richard Cooke. Cooke also killed Xanda’s brother in 2015, he was only about four years old then. Xanda is still a young father at 6.2 years old and has several young cubs. We can’t believe that now, two years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub Xanda has met the same fate. When will the lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should…?”
Today we heard that a few days ago, Xanda, the son of #CecilTheLion has been shot on a trophy hunt by Zimbabwe PH…
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