The move to shoot only older lions is commendable for several reasons. First, it may turn out to be crucial in the effort to prevent an eventual closure of lion hunting continent-wide. Seems lions younger than six years are still what are called pride lions. They are crucial to lion reproduction and to the social structure of the pride. At age six, or thereabouts, almost all males lose their importance as breeders. Shooting them is of virtually no consequence to the survival of lions. By shooting older lions only, the argument goes, the hunting community is not just doing the right thing for lions, but also insulating itself against a rising tide of anti-lion-hunting criticism.
Shooting older lions is commendable for another reason, too - it is leading to a revival in lion trophy quality. Those black-maned brutes showing up in the brochures of operators recently are there for a reason. They are the fruits of a remarkable restraint on the part of more and more companies. Seems a new No. 4 SCI lion may........(continued)