Trophy hunters shoot and kill Cecil the Lion's son
Cecil the lion (Photo: YouTube)

Trophy hunters in Zimbabwe have killed the son of Cecil the Lion, the beloved lion that was illegally killed by a Minnesota dentist in 2015.

The Telegraph reports that Xanda, a six-year-old lion who was the eldest cub of Cecil, was killed outside of Hwange National Park in northwest Zimbabwe.

The lion was taken down by hunter Richard Cooke, who also killed one of Xanda's brothers in 2015.

Andrew Loveridge, who works at the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, tells the Telegraph that the killing was legal because Xanda was over six years old and was outside the confines of the park when the shooting happened.

"Richard Cooke is one of the 'good' guys," he explained. "He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened. His hunt was legal and Xanda was over 6 years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations."

That said, Loveridge wished that the park would expand an exclusion zone of five kilometers around the park to reduce the likelihood that hunters would kill collared lions.