On July 7, a trophy hunter, as yet unnamed, shot Cecil’s son, Xanda, not far from where his father was also hunted and killed. The killing was sanctioned by the Zimbabwean government. I would like to know who killed him. I hope that it comes out in the press in due course.
You may remember the dentist, Dr Walter Palmer, who trophy hunted Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, with a bow and arrow. He failed to kill him but Cecil was eventually shot and no doubt Dr Palmer has Cecil’s head over his mantelpiece.
It is, we have to admit, a sick world when we know that the lion population in Africa is diminishing rapidly and yet Mugabe’s corrupt cronies continue to sanction the killing of magnificent lions near Hwange National Park.
Andrew Loveridge, an Oxford University professor who has documented the lions in this area of Africa said:
“When will the lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should?”
The trophy hunting was organised on this occasion by Richard Cooke Safaris. They have not responded to a request by The Washington Post (the source for this article) to comment. Surprised?
Xanda was radio collared in July 2015 and therefore he was monitored. He was fitted with a new GPS satellite collar as recently as October 2016. He lived just outside the boundary of the park and was killed a mile from it edge in a forest where hunting is legal. It is interesting that these killings take place just outside the National Park. I presume hunting is illegal inside the park. Was he lured away from the park as was Cecil so that he could be killed?
In Zimbabwe a lion has to be six years of age before he can be shot. This allows him to produce offspring to maintain the stock of lions.
Xanda was the head of a pride and therefore his death will cause disruption to the pride. It makes the pride more vulnerable to usurpers. It may lead to the killing of young lion cubs by an incoming male to ensure that his offspring become part of the pride.
Cecil was killed by an American’s trophy hunter. I wonder whether another American has killed Xanda. Could it possibly be Dr Walter Palmer who returned to feed his desire to kill the magnificent African lion?
It is much more difficult nowadays for American trophy hunters to import trophies to America since the law has been tightened up by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Permits are harder to come by and the importation of lions killed in canned lion hunts are banned. Personally, I would like to see a complete ban of lion trophy hunting in Africa and I’m also personally tired of businesses claiming that trophy hunting is good for conservation.
Some airlines ban the carrying of trophies from Africa. One of these airlines is Delta. The ban is legal.
As long as lions live in Zimbabwe they are going to be killed by trophy hunters because despite what the Zimbabwean authorities say (they express concern for conservation) their primary objective is to make money and the lives of a diminishing lion population come second to financial profit.
The Zimbabwean government is failing the world when they fail to protect their lions. These lions are an asset of the world and the government of Zimbabwe have an obligation to protect them for future generations. It is grossly negligent to allow them to be shot for pleasure.