Lion ‘Mopane’ killed by hunters in Zimbabwe

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A male lion known as Mopane has been killed in a hunting area on the outskirts of Hwange National Park. Reliable sources say that the lion was targeted by a bow hunter in the same area that renowned lion Cecil was killed in 2015.

Reports confirm that the hunt was legal and that the necessary permits were in place.

Mopani photographed recently in Hwange National Park

Mopane was a 12 year old pride male with a litter of six cubs. The identity of the professional hunter and the client have yet to be confirmed.

Almost every year, a dominant pride male resident between the park and the boundary farms is taken out by hunters. There is significant impact on pride dynamics as a result. Males taken out of a pride often cause conflict as other males move in resulting in the loss of lionesses, less dominant males or cubs which are killed by the new males. Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creates potential human-wildlife conflict with communities living on the borders of the park. 20 lions have been killed in this area over the past decade. Many argue that the current level of lion hunting is not sustainable in the area bordering Hwange National Park.

Before he was targeted, Mopani had formed a coalition with another male named Sidhule. On 10 August 2019, World Lion Day, Sidhule was shot and killed by hunters on the outskirts of the park.

Mopani photographed two weeks ago with part of a pride that is not his own


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