A son of Cecil the Lion has reportedly met the same fate as his father, shot dead by trophy hunters outside of Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.
Xanda, a 6-year-old lion, was fathered by Cecil, the beloved lion killed in 2015 after being lured beyond the park's boundaries. His death sparked global outrage targeted at Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed him.
Xanda died not far from where Cecil did, the Daily Telegraph reported. A Facebook group, Lions of Hwange National Park, claimed Xanda died a few days ago and had several young cubs.
Xanda, like his father, wore a tracking collar as part of Oxford University research.
"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," Andrew Loveridge, a scientist involved with the research, told the Daily Telegraph.
Ninety percent of the overall lion population was lost over the last century, according to the Guardian, with the number of lions killed each year tripling to 1,500 in the past decade. The U.S. added lions to its endangered list two years ago.
The lion's killer was reportedly part of a trophy hunt led by Richard Cook, a Zimbabwean hunter whose clients pay tens of thousands to kill exotic and dwindling animals for fun.
The names of the clients on the hunt have not been revealed, per the Daily Telegraph.
“Richard Cooke is one of the 'good' guys,'" Loveridge, the researcher, told the newspaper. "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.”
Ironically, funds from the massive fees paid by trophy hunters help support wildlife protection efforts, the BBC reported.
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