Xanda the Lion, Cecil’s Oldest Son, Killed by Hunter Too

It’s been just two years since a trophy hunter shot Cecil the lion, and now Cecil’s eldest son has tragically suffered the same fate. Xanda, a 6-year-old lion, died near Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, not all that far from where Cecil was gunned down.

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Xander was a father himself, traveling in a pride with many young cubs and a pair of lionesses. He was one of about 550 lions living in this area in Zimbabwe; only about 20,000 lions remain in the entire world.

Scientists had been tracking Xanda via an electronic collar, and were concerned that he and his family were spending time outside of the park grounds where he is off-limits to hunting. Of course, scientists can’t exactly explain to lions where the arbitrary borders to sanctuary space lie or that they are at increased danger when leaving these boundaries.

In fact, Xanda was only about a mile and some change away from the park when he was killed. Him being so close to safety, particularly for a creature that can sprint 50 miles per hour, is all the more upsetting.

The Guardian reports that, for a long time, scientists have advocated for an extra no-hunting buffer surrounding park boundaries since so many endangered species come just outside of the protected area where waiting hunters gun them down. Perhaps Xanda’s death can be an impetus to finally put this proposal into action.

Though Xanda actually died two weeks ago, news of his death was kept quiet, likely in an effort to try to avoid the public outcry that followed his father’s death. Incidentally, Richard Cooke, the hunting expert who led private clients on this expedition, also led a hunt that killed another of Cecil’s offspring two years ago.

According to reports, Cooke has a reputation for following the law as a hunting guide. The appropriate permits had been purchased, and Xanda was considered “fair game” because of his location and age. Cooke also returned the electronic collar to the authorities to notify them of Xanda’s death.

Of course, obeying the letter of the law and demonstrating a high moral code are not always the same thing. Polling found that 86 percent of Americans (the country from which most trophy hunters hail) consider big game hunting to be “distasteful.” Proponents of hunting will argue that money raised from these hunts goes toward larger conservation efforts, but that claim seems to be overblown.

Cecil’s death was not entirely in vain – his legacy inspired governments to take sterner stances on big game hunting. Unfortunately, these changes weren’t enough to spare the life of Cecil’s own son Xanda, but here’s hoping that Xanda’s story will spur further action to make sure Cecil’s grandchildren don’t befall a similar fate.

Let’s not wait any longer to push for real change. This new Care2 petition asks Zimbabwe to honor Xanda’s memory by deciding to put a permanent end to endangered species hunting in the country – both inside and out of national parks. Zimbabwe should be playing a bigger role in protecting these beautiful, vulnerable creatures, not issuing permits to rich people who want to kill them for sport.

Photo Credit: Bert Duplessis


Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Na Khong
Na Khong1 years ago

Justice for Cecil's son, Xanda. Ban Trophy Hunting now. All animals cruelties must end forever. God is watching.

Margie FOURIE1 years ago

All greed, at the expense of the animals

joan silaco
joan silaco1 years ago


bob Petermann
bob p1 years ago

They know full well if they pay government officials they can get what they want. Pretty much how I government is running now.

Marty P
Marty Price1 years ago

Put Bright Fluorescent Collars On Them So They Can Be Easily Seen And Make It Illegal To Shoot Them Anywhere In Or Out Of The Park. Pretty Simple Solution If These Nuckle Dragging Neanderthals Really Cared.

Michele B
Michele B1 years ago

once again, humanity has reared its ugly, narcisstic, self-serving, egotistical head and someone/something had to pay the steep price!!

Robert Petrozzi
Robert Petrozzi1 years ago

Once again, these heinous economic crimes have been allowed on endangered wildlife for the sake of money.
Sadly these Countries will destroy all their wildlife with time and leave little or nothing to progeny, and what will they think of them
There are few African Countries that ban hunting totally, ie Kenya, but many others make money out of licensing to kill wildlife, some even ask so called hunters to shoot in an enclosed space, and that is the bottom of the thrash.....where have we got to...breeding lions for slaughter.....Only through massive international pressure will the shame suddenly appear maybe to effect positive changes to these processes.
Unfortunately some of the so called" hunters" are backed by policy of their leader(s)
That hunting is a good thing, what does it serve, killing an innocent animal, is it to show one's testosterone levels,what does it prove? A lust to kill, well well then one understands a disease, not a sport. Go join the army and fight on the front.....no they won't do that, they can get killed, We are no longer in the Ice age period of hunter gatherers hundreds of thousands of years ago, you can find the best food available
In your city. this kind of hunter is wealthy, not one surviving to make a living or feeding of the meat,and that it is the putrefaction of our society.

Misss D
Shari F1 years ago

heather g - Unfortunately, I think you are very right.

Karen N
Karen N1 years ago

Cecil's death: The club that encouraged the killer.

For those that want to see a video of the club that sell safaris to kill animals as trophies please copy and paste the following . . .