January 11, 2016 6:13 am

Hunter in Zimbabwe cancels plan to raffle lion hunt following protests

File-This Aug. 6, 2015, file photo shows a lion named Tommy in the Hwange National Park where Cecil the Lion was killed about 700 kilometres south west of Harare, Zimbabwe.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File

JOHANNESBURG – A professional hunter in Zimbabwe has cancelled a plan to raffle a lion hunt at a hunters’ convention in the United States, following protests from activists.

Martin Nel said last week that he was scrapping the raffle in which he hoped to sell 100 raffle tickets for $1,500 each in Las Vegas next month.

Nel says the raffle winner could also have chosen to have a lion collared for research, and that the project was designed to raise funds for conservation studies at Zimbabwe’s Bubye Valley Conservancy.

Some conservationists describe lion hunting as a threat to the species, whose numbers in the wild are dwindling.

Last year, an American hunter killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe in what authorities said was an illegal hunt, causing an international outcry.

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