Africa

Xanda, son of Cecil the lion, killed by hunter in Zimbabwe

Six-year-old Xanda lion Image copyright Bert Duplessis/Fish Eagle Safaris
Image caption Xanda was reportedly shot on a trophy hunt

Two years after Cecil the lion was killed by a trophy-hunter in Zimbabwe, prompting global outrage, his son has met a similar sad end.

Xanda, a six-year-old lion with several young cubs, was shot dead on 7 July.

He was killed just outside the Hwange National Park in northern Zimbabwe, close to where his father died.

The lion had been fitted with an electronic tracking collar by Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).

Dr Loveridge, a Senior Research Fellow with Oxford's Department of Zoology, secured the collar last October.

"Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition - a very, very lovely animal. Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that," he said.

The Oxford team are calling for a wider 5km (three-mile) "no-hunting zone" around the National Park.

Image copyright AFP PHOTO / ZIMBABWE NATIONAL PARKS
Image caption Sad inheritance: The much-loved Zimbabwean lion Cecil was killed in 2015

The BBC's Africa Correspondent, Andrew Harding, reports that at the age of six, Xanda was old enough to be legally targeted by big game hunters.

These individuals, many from the US, UK and South Africa, pay tens of thousands of pounds for the deadly pursuit - thereby funding the staff who protect other wildlife.

It is not yet clear who shot Xanda. A professional hunter is said to have reported the death to the authorities and returned the lion's collar.

The killing comes two years after dentist Walter James Palmer, from Minnesota in the US, sparked an international outcry by killing Cecil, a 13-year-old lion who was a major tourist attraction in the area.

His home and dentistry practice were targeted by protesters after his identity surfaced in the press.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protesters left stuffed animals at Walter Palmer's dental practice after it emerged he had shot Cecil

At the time it was reported that the lion had been shot with a bow and arrow and did not die immediately. He was followed for more than 40 hours before being shot with a rifle.

Mr Palmer was believed to have paid $50,000 (£32,000) to hunt a lion in Zimbabwe's largest game reserve.

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