Up to 200 lions could be culled in Zimbabwe after Cecil’s death caused population explosion


Up to 200 lions could be culled in Zimbabwe after Cecil

The cull comes after the death of Cecil the Lion last year (Picture: Paula French/REX Shutterstock)

Up to 200 lions could be culled in Zimbabwe in order to deal with a population explosion caused after the death of Cecil last year.

More than 500 lions are now kept at the Bubye Valley Conservancy.

But the huge lion herds have started killing antelope, cheetahs, leopards and giraffes after the driest summer on record prevented grass from growing – and forced the predators to turn on other animals.

The situation is believed to be partly caused by ‘the Cecil effect’, which happed after U.S dentist Walter Palmer killed beloved Cecil the Lion last year.

Now, other big-game hunters have been put off from travelling to Zimbabwe out of fear that they will receive the same international condemnation as Dr Palmer.

Cecil the lion

Cecil the lion’s killer was revealed as American dentist Walter Palmer

Staff at Bubye Valley Conservancy say that they could be forced to kill 200 lions to keep the population under control but have launched an appeal for wildlife sanctuaries to take them first.

Blondie Leatham, the conservancy’s general manager, said: ‘I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation.

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‘If anyone knows of a suitable habitat for them where they will not land up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not be beaten up because of existing prides, please let us know and help us raise the money to move them.’

The conservancy was previously slammed for selling raffle tickets that offered the opportunity to kill a lion as a first prize, before widespread protests resulted in its cancellation.