Cecil the lion was infamously shot and killed by Dr. Walter Palmer in 2015 outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. His killing sparked a worldwide outcry against trophy killing and poaching. This week, another member of his pride met a similar fate. Cecil’s son, Xanda, was shot and killed by a trophy hunter outside the protected area of that same national park.
According to The Guardian, Xanda was killed by hunters on a trip organised by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke. The names of the other people on the trip haven’t been released. Xanda was 6 years old, and roaming outside of the park. Both of these factors made his killing legal under Zimbabwe’s hunting laws. Xanda was wearing a tracking collar when he was killed, and Cooke returned the collar and reported it.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Xanda got the collar in October. The scientists who monitor it did notice Xanda and his pride were spending a lot of time outside Hwange National Park. “It was monitored almost daily and we were aware that Xanda and his pride [were] spending a lot of time out of the park in the last six months, but there is not much we can do about that,” scientist Andrew Loveridge told The Daily Telegraph.
Even though Xanda’s killing was technically legal, not everyone thinks it’s ethical. Philip Mansbridge, the UK director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told The Guardian he thinks Xanda’s death was cruel. “These animals deserve our protection, not bullets,” he said.
Trophy hunting remains a large industry on the African continent. In 2016, the International Fund for Animal Welfare estimated that as many as 1.7 million trophy animals were exported between 2004 and 2014. Of that number, the organisation estimated more than 8,200 of those trophies were lions.
Though they are both gone, the legacy of Cecil and Xanda lives on. According to The Guardian, Cecil has 12 surviving cubs and at least 15 grand-cubs.