Saturday 26 May 2018

Six-year-old cub of lion Cecil shot dead by hunter - just like his father

Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park – he was shot in 2015
Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park – he was shot in 2015

Peta Thornycroft London

One of Cecil the lion's cubs has been shot dead by a big game trophy hunter in Zimbabwe - just two years after his father was killed in similar circumstances.

Six-year-old Xanda was killed just outside the Hwange National Park, not far from where Cecil was killed in 2015.

Xanda's death was discovered because he was wearing an electronic collar fitted by researchers from Oxford University who were monitoring his movements.

When the Zimbabwean professional hunter on the shoot, Richard Cooke, discovered the dead lion had a collar he handed it back to the researchers.

Andrew Loveridge, from the department of zoology at Oxford, said: "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 the stipulated regulations."

Mr Cooke has not revealed the name of his client who may have paid about €47,000 for the shoot and for Xanda's head to be cured and mounted and sent to him wherever he lives.

Cecil's death on July 1, 2015 caused global outrage when it was revealed that Walter James Palmer, a 55-year-old dentist from Minnesota, paid €55,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow.

Irish Independent

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