Cecil the Lion’s son, ‘Xanda’ killed by trophy hunter in Zimbabwe

Just two years after Cecil the Lion was killed by a big game trophy hunter from the United States, one of the lion’s cubs was shot dead in Zimbabwe a few days ago. The six-year-old lion named Xanda, who had been in the prime of his life, was shot and killed under similar circumstances as his father on the outskirts of Hwange National Park.

According to the Telegraph, Xanda’s death was discovered after his electronic collar monitoring the cat’s moves alerted Andrew Loveridge from the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. The Zimbabwean hunter who arranged the hunt, Richard Cooke, from RC Safaris, found the collar on the lion and turned it over to the researchers. Cooke has not announced the name of his client, however most lion hunters are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany or South Africa.

“I fitted it last October,” stated Loveridge. 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.”

According to authorities, the hunt was legal since Xanda was over six-years of age, and he was out of the protection of the park. It is hoped there will soon be a three-mile exclusion zone around the Hwange National Park, so that hunters would no longer accidentally shoot collared lions when they roam outside of the park. On the Facebook page of Lions of Hwange National Park came the devastating post about Xanda’s death:

“Today we heard that a few days ago, Xanda, the son of #CecilTheLionhas been shot on a trophy hunt by Zimbabwe PH Richard Cooke. Cooke also killed Xanda’s brother in 2015, he was only about 4 years old then. Xanda is still a young father at 6.2 years old and has several young cubs. We can’t believe that now, 2 years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub #Xanda has met the same fate.

When will the Lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should…?”

At the time Cecil the Lion was killed, he had wandered close to the boundary when Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer paid $65,000 to shoot and kill the lion with a bow and arrow. Social media erupted when news of the beloved lion’s death was announced, and Palmer hid for weeks – including temporarily having to suspend his dental practice.

Cecil and his pure magnificent stature brought smiles and admiration from across the world. The 13-year-old lion did not die immediately that awful night he was shot, and suffered for hours until he was tracked down and killed the next day. Palmer was originally charged for illegally hunting the lion, however charges were later dropped.

Rest in peace Xanda. Why does man have to hunt for fun? Didn’t Xanda have the right to live his life too? Tell us what you think.

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(Photos of Xanda screenshot by Picasa and Facebook Lions of Hwange National Park)


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Vet who posed with lion he killed as trophy dies while hunting

An Italian veterinarian who was fired from his job as director of a kennel, after killing a lion and a warthog while on safari in Tanzania, died while hunting birds. Luciano Ponzetto, 55, died this week after he was out hunting with friends and slipped on the ice tumbling to his death down a ravine near the Italian city of Turin.luciano-ponzetto2

According to The Sun, Ponzetto had been trying to shoot wild birds to eat when he died. He had recently returned from a shooting trip in Canada where he bragged he had “several big hits.”

In November 2015, Ponzetto was pounded with hate messages worldwide after photos appeared on social media of him posing with his rifle next to the body of a once magnificent lion. The lion’s death drew even more ire as advocates compared the killing to Cecil the Lion shot by American game hunter Walter Palmer in October, 2015  in Zimbabwe. According to Ponzetto, he said he had killed the lion several years previous and the photos had only recently appeared. Those defending Ponzetto said he had a permit to kill the animals and did nothing wrong. Ponzetto openly tried to defend himself in various interviews and on social media, however the public wasn’t buying it:

“I know that I have done nothing wrong. I am being criticized by people who do not know me. I have always loved my work and I have always loved animals. I will carry on hunting until the law changes,” Ponzetto posted.

The unwanted publicity at the kennels where Ponzetto worked near Turin caved into the massive campaign of animal advocates complaining, and after 16 years as the medical director the game hunter was fired.luciano-ponzetto

“We are totally opposed to any form of hunting or abuse of animals, whether they be wild or domestic, the kennels said in their public statement.

Social media sites have labeled the vet’s accident as “karma.” Authorities said he died instantly due to the fall and there was nothing that could have been done to save his life.

Photo lion killed by vet via  Facebook.

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