(ANIMAL NEWS/WILDLIFE) Just two years after the slaughter of Cecil the lion, one of the famed lion‘s cubs was killed in similar circumstances during a trophy hunt in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

The six-year-old lion named Xanda, who was in his prime, was shot and killed just outside the bounds of Hwange National Park–not far from where Cecil was killed in 2015–in an area where big game hunters can legally hunt animals for sport if they possess the proper permits.

A well-studied lion like this father and critical to conservation efforts in Zimbabwe, Xanda was wearing an an electronic GPS satellite collar, fitted by researchers monitoring his movements in the area. His death on July 7 was first indicated by a lack of movement data from the collar.

The killing of Xanda just demonstrates how trophy hunters have no remorse and have learned absolutely nothing from the international outcry following Cecil’s death. They continue to poach even though there are as few as 20,000 African lions remaining in the wild. When will the Lions of Hwange National Park be left alone?

Continue reading below to learn more about the consequences of Xanda’s death and why it’s absolutely crucial that countries like Zimbabwe shift away from the trophy hunting industry. — Global Animal

Cecil the lion’s son Xanda in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Photo Credit: Bert Duplessis/www.fisheaglesafaris.com

New York Times, Daniel Victor

Two years after Cecil the Lion was killed in a national park in Zimbabwe, sparking international outrage, his son Xanda was killed in a trophy hunt.

The lion was shot on July 7 in a hunting area just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, according to Andrew Loveridge, an Oxford University researcher who had studied both Cecil and his son. Xanda, who was 6 years old, was wearing an electronic collar that was put on by researchers to monitor his movements.

“As researchers we are saddened at the death of a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth,” Mr. Loveridge said in an email.

The Telegraph reported that Richard Cooke, of the company RC Safaris, had led the hunt, though it was not immediately clear who killed the lion.

In July 2015, Walter Palmer (left) tracked and killed Cecil the legendary lion in Zimbabwe. Here, he poses beside one of his many trophy hunts. Photo Credit: Telegraph UK

“Richard Cooke is one of the ‘good’ guys,” Mr. Loveridge told The Telegraph. “He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened. His hunt was legal and Xanda was over 6 years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.”

Mr. Cooke could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The pride spent “considerable time outside the protection of the park,” Mr. Loveridge said. Xanda was shot about two kilometers from its edge in Ngamo Forest, in an area where hunting is legal.

The lion, who was part of a pride of three females and seven cubs, was first collared for study in July 2015, with a GPS satellite collar added in October 2016, Mr. Loveridge said. The researchers traced his whereabouts until his death.

Cecil was 13 when he was killedby Dr. Walter J. Palmer, an American dentist, in July 2015. Like Xanda, he had wandered outside of his sanctuary in Hwange National Park. Dr. Palmer apologized for the killing but became the target of threats and harassment.

“The killing of Xanda just goes to show that trophy hunters have learned nothing from the international outcry that followed Cecil’s death,” said Masha Kalinina, an international trade policy specialist for Humane Society International.

“Xanda was a well-studied lion like this father and critical to conservation efforts in Zimbabwe,” she said. “To stop lions slipping into extinction, it is critical that countries like Zimbabwe keep as many lions alive as possible and shift away from the trophy hunting industry.”

The Humane Society said that fewer than 30,000 African lions remain.

More New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/world/africa/cecil-lion-son-xanda.html?mcubz=2

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