Zimbabwe has lifted a temporary ban on lion, leopard and elephant hunts imposed following the killing of a famous lion – Cecil – last month with strict conditions set for professional hunters and safari operators.
In a message on its website, the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association says the ban will be maintained in some areas in Matabeleland North province where Cecil the lion was killed by America Walter Palmer.
According to the hunters association, the hunting of these animals will now be attended by officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Management and there will be no further hunting of collared iconic animals. Violaters of new regulations will be banned for life.
State officials were not reachable for comment as they were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
Carole Baskin, founder and chief executive of Big Cat Rescue, an organization fighting for the protection of big cats, said the lifting of the ban is ill-timed.
Sally Waynn-Pitman of Zambezi Societ said lions are not the only animals being decimated by hunters.
Professional hunter, Dumisani Sibanda, also noted that animal trophy hunting is benefiting some locals though Cecil was allegedly killed illegally.