Zimbabwe has lifted its ban on trophy hunting—just a week after it was introduced

Hwange National Park, home of the late Cecil the lion.
Hwange National Park, home of the late Cecil the lion.
Image: (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)
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Zimbabwe’s temporary ban on trophy hunting lasted for just over a week. South Africa’s News24 reported yesterday that the ban, introduced after last month’s scandal over the killing of Cecil the lion, has been lifted.

According to the report, a statement from the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association was leaked during the weekend, announcing the lifting of the ban. ”We are pleased to inform you that, following some useful discussions between operators and the relevant Zimbabwean authorities, the suspension has now been uplifted throughout the country”, it reads.

There are exceptions, according to News24: a ban continues on trophy hunting in certain areas such as the Antoinette farm, where Cecil the lion was illegally killed, and on the hunting of “collared iconic animals.” (Cecil was wearing a collar.)

Writing on al-Jazeera last week, Tendai Marima, a journalist based in Zimbabwe, reported fears that although hunting contributes less than a tenth of Zimbabwe’s $200 million or more in annual ecotourism income, a hunting ban could hurt the country in the current tough economic climate. ”Some Zimbabwe-based hunting organisations fear that, in addition to their own losses, communities dependent on commercial hunting could be negatively affected by the temporary ban,” wrote Marima. She also cited fears that the ban on hunting might aggravate poaching instead.