A little over two years on from the tragic killing of Cecil the lion, his son has been met with the same fate. 6-year-old Xanda, who had cubs of his own, was reportedly killed by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe.

His death was discovered after his electronic tracking collar, fitted by Oxford University researchers, was handed back.

Jordi Casamitjana, Head of Policy and Research at the League Against Cruel Sports said:

“As long as the importation of hunting trophies remains legal, entire families of lions are at risk of being exterminated by trophy hunters. The sad and senseless killing of Xanda, Cecil the lion’s six-year-old son is a stark reminder that this risk is very real.

“Taking place just ten days after the US Government decided to lift the ban on lion trophies from Zimbabwe, Xanda’s tragic death should be a wake-up call to the authorities of the countries still allowing the importation of hunting trophies.”

The global population of wild lions has decreased dramatically over the last century. Estimates suggest that the world population of wild lions was around half a million at the start of the 20th century, declining to about 200,000 by 1950. Today, trophy hunters wishing to shoot a wild lion will be taking a life from a population that some estimates number at around 20,000.