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The Zimbabwean trophy hunter who shot Cecil the Lion’s son, Xanda, was lying about the circumstances of the hunt, says Oxford University researcher Andrew Loveridge from WildCru.

The professional hunter, Richard Cooke, and the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association said that Xanda was a lone male who had moved out of Hwange National Park (where hunting is banned) because he had been ousted from his pride and that he had no dependent cubs.

Xanda the lion ©The Times
Image source: The Times

But according to WildCru, Xanda was part of a pride with seven cubs and his territory spanned areas beyond the national park boundaries. Apparently, Mr Loveridge said that his staff had warned Cooke that shooting Xanda would be detrimental to the population of lions.

Andrew Loveridge was quoted by The Times as saying:

“These cubs were too young to survive on their own and will certainly be vulnerable to infanticide” – male lions normally kill their rival’s offspring when they take control of a pride and therefore Xanda’s cubs are vulnerable to being killed.

There is no question that Mr Cook was fully aware that this animal was a pride male. He was a territorial male in a pride of three females with at least seven dependant cubs of between one and 1 1/2 years old.”

Ethics is about not just adhering to the letter of the law, but also making informed ethical choices to limit the detrimental impacts of hunting activities.”

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