The son of Cecil the Lion has been shot dead by a big game hunter two years after his father was killed, it has emerged. Xanda, a six year’s old male, was killed just outside Hwange National Park in north west Zimbabwe near the spot where Cecil died two years ago.Authorities were able to identify the animal believed to be Cecil’s oldest cub because it had been fitted with an electronic tag.American trophy-hunter Walter Palmer, from Minnesota, paid £45,000 to hunt and shoot Xanda’s majestic father, easily recognisable by his black mane which helped make him Hwange’s biggest tourist draw.
The 12 year’s old cat, which was found beheaded and skinned near Hwange National Park, wore a collar and was a key part of an expensive research project monitored by Oxford University.The dentist was forced into hiding for weeks following his shooting of Cecil which prompted an international outcry. Charges against Dr Palmer were later withdrawn. Last year, pictures emerged showing seven of Cecil’s offspring five females and two males by three lioness mates basking in sunshine.But today, it emerged that one of them, Xanda, himself a father to several young cubs, had also been killed by a big game trophy hunter in Zimbabwe. An image purportedly showing animal, was posted along with a message announcing the death on Facebook page of the Lions of Hwange National Park group.The group told ‘Xanda is still a young father at 6.2 years old and has several young cubs. We can’t believe that now, 2 years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub Xanda has met the same fate.’When will Lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should…?’
According to Daily Telegraph, the man leading shooting expedition, named as Richard Cooke from RC Safaris, found the tag on the lion’s collar and handed it to researchers.Andrew Loveridge, from the Oxford University research team is quoted as saying ‘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. His hunt was legal and Xanda was over six years old so it is all within stipulated regulations.’Loveridge told he hoped a three-mile exclusion zone could be set up around the Hwange Park to stop hunters accidentally killing monitored lions that strayed outside its boundaries.