Two years after Cecil the Lion was killed in Zimbabwe, sparking an international outcry, the same thing happened to one of his sons, Xanda, conservationists say.
A group named Friends of Hwange Trust said Thursday on Facebook that six-year-old Xanda, Cecil's son, was shot on a 'legal trophy hunt' several days ago. The group says Xanda, who was wearing a GPS collar installed by researchers, was killed outside the boundary of Hwange National Park.
Another group named Lions of Hwange National Park says Xanda was killed by a Zimbabwean professional hunter. 'We can't believe that now, two years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub Xanda has met the same fate,' the group said in a statement. 'When will the Lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should?'
According to the BBC, Xanda was old enough to be legally targeted by big-game hunters.
Those hunters, who often come from the US, the UK, and South Africa, pay tens of thousands of dollars for a chance to kill wild animals like Xanda and his father, Cecil. That money then goes toward the national parks that protect wildlife.
I photographed Cecil's son Xanda on the morning of 29 May 2017 outside of Little Makalolo Camp in Hwange Game Reserve. He and his pride of 10 were hunting buffalo close to the camp.
Cecil reportedly had 13 surviving male and female cubs, and 15 grandcubs, when he was killed. The Guardian reports Xanda had several cubs of his own.
'Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition - a very, very lovely animal,' Oxford University researcher Andrew Loveridge told the newspaper. 'Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that.'
Loveridge is fighting for a no-hunting zone around the perimeter of the park.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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