Researchers agree that Africa's lions face great threats aside from commercial hunting, including human encroachment on habitats and the poaching of animals for food
In this Nov. 20, 2013 file photo Cecil the Lion rests near Kennedy One Water Point in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. The son of Cecil the lion has been shot dead in Zimbabwe, two years after his father's killing ignited international outrage. Now there's fresh outcry over the "trophy" hunting of a species whose numbers in the wild have plummeted. (AP Photo/Sean Herbert, File), photo: AP/Sean Herbert, File
21 of July 2017 13:59:17
JOHANNESBURG – First there was Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion whose allegedly illegal killing by a hunter from the U.S. in 2015 ignited international outrage. Now Cecil's son Xanda has been legally killed in the same area, bringing fresh scrutiny on the "trophy" hunting of a species whose numbers in the African wild have plummeted.Some conservation groups denounced 6-year-old Xanda's killing, saying commercial hunting bans and robust wildlife tourism in countries such as Kenya and Botswana are among the best ways to protect threatened species. The hunting industry, meanwhile, counters that it has a conservation role if it is well-regulated, channeling revenue back into wildlife areas that otherwise could end up neglected or turned into livestock farms.Many researchers agree that Africa's lions face greater threats, including human encroachment on habitats and the poaching of animals for food, which deprives lions of prey. A more recent concern is the legal export of South African lion skeletons to a traditional medicine market in Asia, which some critics believe could lead to increased poaching of wild lions to meet demand."The species is in free-fall," said Will Travers, president and co-founder of Born Free, an international conservation group. He cited estimates that there are only 20,000 wild lions left in Africa.
Like Cecil, Xanda had been monitored by WildCRU, a group affiliated with the University of Oxford in Britain.The World Heritage Species group said researchers "were aware that Xanda had been spending more time outside the park" and that the dead lion's GPS collar was fitted in October.Cecil was killed in a hunt in which he was illegally lured out of the wildlife park with bait and initially wounded by an arrow, according to authorities. The death unleashed an extraordinary outpouring of anger at Walter Palmer, the U.S. dentist who shot the lion, and other foreigners who have traveled to Africa to kill wildlife.Xanda had a pride with cubs, said the World Heritage Species group. It said "their safety and survival is now in jeopardy if a new male comes along and attempts to take over."
Xanda, son of Cecil the lion, 'killed by hunter' in ZimbabweRT if you think it's time to #BanTrophyHunting https://t.co/RsZkutmuac pic.twitter.com/ZUHCfbIsGN— The League (@LeagueACS) 21 de julio de 2017