Senior Arts Reporter
On the wintry night of July 1, 2015, American dentist and prominent trophy hunter Dr Walter Palmer, shot and killed Hwange National Park’s most famous lion, Cecil.
Dr Palmer used as bait a carcass he dragged for more than 20km to lure Cecil from his main territory in the no-hunting zone, into a farm in Gwayi. There he used a bow and arrow to kill Cecil.
On Sunday, DStv premiers a documentary on Cecil, as his legend lives.
Suffice to say, the huge head of the pride was popular with local and international tourists for flaunting his mane and posing for pictures at very close range. Very rare for a predator of his gait!
On a good day, Cecil would give many a tourist the best picture moment.
He sired more than 20 cubs with a pride that frequented the area around Hwange Main Camp and its fringe area along the Bulawayo –Victoria Falls highway from Cross Jotsholo to Cross Mabale, Cross Dete up to Gwayi Conservancy. Within hours of Cecil’s death, the world went agog with the news, drawing the wrath of animal rights practitioners, feline researchers, tourists and ordinary people.
Cecil, was a collard territorial male, and there was suspicion that the collar was used to track him with satellite systems. Dr Palmer denied the charges and was tried and acquitted.
Cecil was used by researchers from the age of about 4 years when a satellite system tracking collar was placed on his neck until he was killed at the age of 13.
Cecil’s pride was taken over by another male Xaha, an IsiNdebele name, with some sexual explicit connotations but Xaha itself did not live long as it was killed in another hunt. It was collared too.
It is interesting how the documentary on Cecil will be received by all and sundry on Sunday, February 14 at 7pm, dubbed “The Legacy of the king: Cecil the lion”.
This might as well pass as a special Valentine treat for animal lovers.
The story was topical world over and now DStv through the National Geographic channel have started a campaign on wildlife documentary on the lion as the king of Africa.