Heartbreaking end for son of Cecil the lion

By Marelize Potgieter
21 July 2017

Xanda was shot outside the Hwange National Park, not far from where his sire, Cecil, was shot in 2015 by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Legendary Cecil the lion’s son Xanda has been shot by trophy hunters.

Richard Cooke, a professional hunter who runs RC Safaris in Zimbabwe, has returned Xanda the lion’s electronic tracking collar to researchers who’d been tracking Xanda. Xanda was shot outside the Hwange National Park, not far from where his sire, Cecil, was shot in 2015 by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Cecil’s death elicited worldwide outrage at the time. Walter, who killed Cecil with a crossbow, maintained he’d been given the impression it was a legal hunt. Despite this, he quickly gained infamy as America’s “most hated dentist”.

In August this year images of 160 endangered species – including lions – were projected on the Empire State Building in New York in an effort to raise awareness for their plight. Xanda had been six years old and had sired a number of litters. Oxford University researcher Andrew Loveridge told The Telegraph he’d put the collar on Xanda in October last year and the lion had been monitored almost daily, adding, “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’s not much we can do about that.” He says by returning the collar to researchers, Cooke had been acting ethically. Additionally, Xanda was older than six and therefore eligible to be legally hunted.

But social media was outraged and saddened in reaction to news of Xanda’s killing.

Facebook user Lorna Davidson wrote: “Why can't the government make trophy hunting illegal? Surely more money will come into the economy through tourists coming to see the wildlife rather than a few mindless idiots killing it. When it’s gone it’s gone. We need to protect our wildlife before this happens.”

Sources: News.sky.com; Theguardian.com

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