HARARE (Zimbabwe) • Two years after Cecil the Lion was killed in a national park in Zimbabwe, sparking international outrage, its son Xanda has been killed in a trophy hunt.
The lion was shot on July 7 in a hunting area just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, according to Dr Andrew Loveridge, an Oxford University researcher who had studied both Cecil and its son.
Xanda was wearing an electronic collar that had been put on the animal by researchers to monitor its movements.
"As researchers, we are saddened at the death of a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth," said Dr Loveridge in an e-mail.
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The Telegraph reported that Mr Richard Cooke of RC Safaris had led the hunt, but it was not immediately clear who had killed the lion.
Dr Loveridge told The Telegraph: "Richard Cooke is one of the 'good' guys. He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened. His hunt was legal and Xanda was more than six years old, so it was all within the stipulated regulations."
Mr Cooke could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
The pride of lions spent "considerable time outside the protection of the park", said Dr Loveridge.
Xanda was shot about 2km from the edge of the park, in Ngamo Forest, in an area where hunting is legal.
The lion, which was part of a pride of three females and seven cubs, was first collared for study in July 2015, and a GPS satellite collar was added in October last year, said Dr Loveridge. The researchers traced Xanda's whereabouts until its death.
Cecil was 13 when it was killed by Dr Walter Palmer, an American dentist, in July 2015.
Like Xanda, Cecil had wandered outside the sanctuary in Hwange National Park. Dr Palmer apologised for the killing but became the target of threats and harassment.
"The killing of Xanda just goes to show that trophy hunters have learnt nothing from the international outcry that followed Cecil's death," said Ms Masha Kalinina, an international trade policy specialist for Humane Society International.
"Xanda was a well-studied lion, like the father, and was critical to conservation efforts in Zimbabwe," said Ms Kalinina.
"To stop lions slipping into extinction, it is critical that countries like Zimbabwe keep as many lions alive as possible and shift away from the trophy hunting industry," she added.
The Humane Society said that fewer than 30,000 African lions remain.