"Ethical" hunter shoots Xanda close to where Cecil died
Xanda, one of Cecil the Lion’s cubs, was shot dead by a trophy hunter just outside the Hwange National Park in northwest Zimbabwe. Xanda was in his prime, at about 6 years, and had an electronic collar which was tuned in so his movements were monitored by researchers in the area.
The Zimbabwean professional hunter on this shoot, was Richard Cooke, from RC Safaris who handed the collar from the dead lion to researchers. Cooke lives in Victoria Falls and is widely seen as an “ethical” hunter.
Cecil the Lion’s death, almost two years ago, not far from where his son has just died, caused outrage around the world among animal welfare groups and anti- hunting organisations. He was shot and wounded at night with a bow and arrow by American dentist Walter Palmer, who returned the next morning to finish him off. His head and carcass were seized by Zimbabwe police.
Charges against Palmer were withdrawn as he had a licence to shoot a lion. The Zimbabwe guide, Theo Bronkhorst, who secured the licence for the hunt was wiped out of business after the massive international campaign about Cecil the Lion, who was 13 when he died, a good age in the wild and he was a magnificent, black-maned lion. Charges against Bronkhorst were also withdrawn.
Many US hunters cancelled trips to Zimbabwe in the aftermath of the massive media coverage of the death of Cecil the Lion. But now some have now returned to Zimbabwe as the US ban on importation of trophies was lifted.
Cooke is a well known professional hunter and so far he has not spoken about this hunt nor released the name of his client who shot Xanda. The trophy hunter probably paid about R500 000 to shoot Xanda and have his head sent to him.
Oxford University has long monitored lions around the Hwange National Park and provides electronic collars.
Over 70% of funds to safeguard Zimbabwe’s wildlife and catch poachers comes from revenue from professional hunters.