The Hwange National Park , the location of an African wildlife reserve where the famous lion, Cecil lived, could kill around 200 endangered lions as it has become overpopulated.
The Bubye Valley Conservancy, the largest reserve in Zimbabwe said that it finds difficult to feed more than 500 lions. It cannot sustain the population. Reserve officials have also appealed to other wildlife sanctuaries to adopt some of its lions.
“I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation,” said Blondie Leathem, the conservancy’s general manager.
“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 reserve said that it would have to kill the lions if no other reserves are willing to take some of the animals.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) censured the move by the reserve. It said that several species have completely disappeared due to such trophy hunting.
“The idea that lions need humans to control their numbers is arrogance.” said PETA’s Director Mimi Bekhechi in a report by Huffington Post UK.
“Nature always has maintained animal populations by gauging the amount of food available, not by considering the number of hunters. Hunters are responsible for extinctions of all manner of animals, from mammals to birds, all over the world.
“Hunting for sport, often under the guise of trying to help feed people or help nature achieve a ‘balance’, is selfish, sickening and abhorrently cruel, and when shot, many lions, like the famous Cecil, endure lingering, painful deaths.”
The reserve believes that the lion population has spiked after the controversial killing of the lion, Cecil, which limited the hunting in the reserve.
The lion was killed by an American Dentist, Walter Palmer. For this, Palmer paid £35,000 to the wildlife guides to allow him to hunt the lion in Hwange National Park in July last year.
“If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn’t have taken it,” Palmer said in a report by BBC.