Zimbabwe: Ban Hunting of Lions Immediately
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It is time.
Time for change and time for banning the trophy hunting of lions in Zimbabwe.
Please show your support for this call to action and call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to take notice of world wide condemnation against trophy hunting and the killing of a threatened, near endangered species - the mighty African Lions (Panthera Leo).
Only 2 short years following the illegal killing of Cecil, a 12 year old male lion in Zimbabwe, his son #Xanda is now killed by a trophy hunter. Under what appears to be similar circumstances - both Cecil and Xanda wandering out of their safe sanctuary National Park and onto community land and nearby hunting blocks. Both of these lions were fitted with tracking research collars.
Note: At the time of writing, it is unclear as to whether like Cecil, Xanda was lured and baited. The fact remains that another lion has been preyed upon and killed.
What makes Xanda's killing worse, is his age - only 6 years old and with cubs of his own. Xanda had lived less than half of his life before a trophy hunter preyed upon him.
August 2015 - Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area favoured by hunters following the killing of Cecil and another lion that same year.
However, after only ONE WEEK, authorities lifted this suspension;
Whatever reaction ZimParks had following the illegal hunting of Cecil, authorities cannot reasonably and accurately have researched and studied the impact of lion hunting & poaching in the area and justification of lifting their suspension.
Permitting the hunting of animals such as lions in areas bordering national parks, allows for situations as Cecil and Xanda, where they may be baited and lured. Not simply killing one lions, but potentially killing several should they in this case have offspring and a pride to protect. Killing these male lions is not responsible.
20,000 lions remain in Africa, down from an estimated 100,000 in 1978.
8,000 captive lions in South Africa also promotes the lion bone trade to Asia, fuelling demand and poaching or wild lions for the trade in their parts - an identical pattern to what Tigers suffered, with hunting, poaching and trade contributing to their huge decline.
100,000 to just 20,000 African Lions in less than 40 years is criminal.
Zimbabwe based researcher Brent Stapelkamp, who studied Cecil and Xanda, said following the killing of Cecil in 2015;
"No amount of money can act as compensation for losing such a creature. My personal feeling is lion hunting shouldn't exist. They're too rare, they're too sensitive, and the repercussions felt after that hunt far exceed anything in any other species."
...and this is yet to speak about the hugely damaging affects such horrendous trophy hunting of lions has on Zimbabwe's tourism and resulting revenue.
Save Lions. Please stop hunting them.
(Lead image © Brent Stapelkamp)
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