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Shot with an arrow then chased for two days until he was skinned and beheaded: Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, becomes a hunting trophy

2AC68FD400000578-3171875-image-a-29_1437646780726Cecil the lion (pictured) strayed outside the park and was brutally attacked by a poacher, who initially used a bow and arrow to wound the beast

Cecil the Lion, 13, was one of the stars of Hwange National Park 

The lion was shot with an arrow by a hunter, outside the park’s border

Badly wounded, the lion was left for two days before he was killed 

The hunter skinned Cecil the Lion and cut off the head for a hunting trophy 

With his striking mane and relaxed manner around the cameras, Cecil the lion was one of the stars of Zimbabwe’s biggest national park.

Now park rangers and safari lovers have been left devastated after the much-loved lion was horrifically killed by a hunter.

After wounding the great beast with an arrow, the depraved hunter spent two days tracking down the injured lion before killing the animal with a rifle. After skinning the corpse, the lion’s noble head was hacking off and taken by the hunter as a hunting trophy.

The death of the 13-year-old big cat has left conservators deeply worried for the safety of several lion cubs, who are now living unprotected in the park.

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It is believed Cecil crossed outside the boundaries of Hwange National Park, inadvertently straying 1,000 km from the park on to private land.

Although their identity currently remains unknown, a lone hunter spotted the friendly lion, who was used to being near humans and was often seen casually sitting on the park’s main road.

Using a bow and arrow, the hunter shot Cecil but the mighty animal did not die in the attack.

Left badly wounded and wandering alone in the wild for two days, the lion was eventually tracked down by the cruel hunter, who used a rifle to execute Cecil.


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