A second high-profile Zimbabwean lion has been shot dead by a foreign big game hunter metres from where Cecil was killed by an American dentist.

Mopane, a 12-year-old male with a distinctive black mane, was shot with a bow and arrow in the Gwaai district of western Zimbabwe last week. At the time of its death, the lion was dominant over two prides.

Receiving disturbing information from sources on the ground today that Mopane has been injured in a bow hunt after being…

The case led to protests by anti-hunting activists who want tighter regulation of such hunting, which came under scrutiny after the death of Cecil in 2015.

Like Cecil, Mopane appears to have been lured away from its pride in the Hwange National Park and into the open veld, wounded on a night bow shoot, and only put out of its agony the next day. The hunter is believed to be an American physical therapist called Phillip Smith.

Trophy hunting is legal in Zimbabwe and the industry is a source of revenue for conservation agencies and anti-poaching operations.

“The hunt was legal, so why is there this noise? As long this lion was six years old it was a legal hunt,” said Tinashe Farawo, of Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

MOPANE UPDATE – 6TH AUG 14:07It has now been confirmed that Mopane is dead! His pride, the Somadada Pride which…

Critics say bow hunting causes unnecessary suffering. They also claim Mopane would not have been killed if the tourists had hired conscientious guides.

“Professional hunters cleaned up their act after Cecil’s death, and would never have shot Mopane, as they knew he was being studied by WildCRU,” said one wildlife expert, referring to Oxford University’s Conservation Research Unit. “These hunters believe there are not enough lions in this area [in the Gwaai district] for hunting.”

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