Just like his father Cecil the lion, Xanda the son has been shot dead by a Zimbabwean trophy hunter.
Report says that 6-year old Xanda was hunted down outside the Hwange National Park in northern Zimbabwe.
Xanda who has several young cubs was reported dead by a professional hunter who found him and returned the electronic tracking collar fitted on its neck. Tracking collars are often used for animals in zoos and conservation parks under study by Oxford University researchers.
Richard Cooke, of the company RC Safaris, has been identified to have led the hunt even though it is not yet clear who was responsible for shooting Xanda.
According to Cooke, he was shot in an area where hunting was legal.
In 2015, Cecil the lion was killed by an American dentist and trophy hunter, Walter Palmer. The incident caused an international outrage with many voicing their displeasure towards the death of the magnificent animal. Cecil was a tourist delight and had so many international fans.
Sadly Xanda the offspring of Cecil has been killed the same way.
Trophy hunting is a sensitive topic for wildlife enthusiasts. Tourists pay heavily for it. Meanwhile there uis an outcry on he drastic depletion of lions in Africa.
The cat population is currently an endangered specie across Africa. Trophy hunting increases the chances of their depletion.
Statistics show that African lions have reduced by a 50% rate in the past 30 years. BBC quotes the Humane Society saying that Africa is estimated to have fewer than 30,000 lions.
Just like Cecil’s case, the death of Xanda or any other notable animal in the conservative park will affect tourism in Zimbabwe. Safaris are one of the top spots foreigners gladly want to visit. Moreso, Zimbabwe owns one of the conserves with growing stability in the breeding of lions.
Andrew Loveridge from Oxford University says the lion was shot on July 7. The researcher had been studying both late Cecil and Xanda. He exonerated Richard Cooke from the incident while expressing his sadness over Xanda’s death.
“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 6 years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.”
“As researchers we are saddened at the death of a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth,”
Many wildlife lovers in Zimbabwe and across the continent are displeased with the latest development.
Masha Kalinina, an international trade policy specialist for Humane Society International said:
“The killing of Xanda just goes to show that trophy hunters have learned nothing from the international outcry that followed Cecil’s death,”
“Xanda was a well-studied lion like this father and critical to conservation efforts in Zimbabwe,”
“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.”