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July 20, 2017

HSI condemns killing of Xanda, Cecil the lion’s son

Humane Society International

  • Cecil the lion. 500px Prime

Humane Society International has expressed sadness and indignation to reports of the killing of Xanda, the 6-year-old son of Cecil the lion whose own killing at the hands of an American trophy hunter caused international outcry two years ago. According to news reports, a hunter in Zimbabwe killed Xanda who was wearing a research collar, pointing to the hunter’s blatant disregard of scientific research crucial to the survival ofthis imperiled species.

Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist for HSI, issued the following statement:

"The killing of Xanda just goes to show that trophy hunters have learned nothing from the international outcry that followed Cecil’s death. They continue at a time when lions face a conservation crisis in Africa, with as few as 20,000 lions left in the wild. Xanda was a well-studied lion like this father and critical to conservation efforts in Zimbabwe. 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. They should follow the examples of Botswana and Kenya, which ban trophy hunting.”

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Earlier this year, HSI commissioned a report conducted by Economists at Large that found that trophy hunting is not economically important in African countries, despite hunters’ claims. In Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, trophy hunting brings in just 0.78 percent or less of the overall tourism spending and has only a marginal impact on employment in those countries, providing approximately 0.76 percent or less of overall tourism jobs. The total economic contribution of trophy hunters is at most an estimated 0.03 percent of gross domestic product.

Before Cecil was killed, The Humane Society of the United States, HSI and other NGOs successfully petitioned the U.S. Department of the Interior to list the African lion under the Endangered Species Act. In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed lions on the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits imports of lion trophies from countries like Zimbabwe that are not sustainably managing lion hunting.

Poachers and trophy hunters are driving lions to extinction. Fewer than 30,000 African lions—and possibly as few as 20,000—are estimated to remain today. Lions exist in 8 percent of their former range and are suffering from loss of habitat and prey in addition to poorly regulated trophy hunting.

The HSUS is also leading the fight to end trophy hunting of thousands of cougars, bobcats and other native carnivores being killed in the U.S. every year. Methods used to kill these animals include steel-jawed leghold traps, snares and packs of dogs who chase the animals.

Media contacts:
US: Rodi Rosensweig, 203-270-8929, TheRodiCompany@gmail.com
UK: Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423

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