One of Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserves, the Bubye Valley Conservancy, recently announced that it was considering culling up to 200 lions as the cats have become increasingly overpopulated. The wildlife reserve said its current population of around 500 lions is unsustainable due to the dramatic decline in hunters, possibly caused by the controversy over Cecil, a lion killed near Hwange National Park last year. Bubye officials say that without hunters to help manage the lion population, they are considering either hiring marksmen to shoot some of the animals, or capturing them and donating the cats to other reserves. Bubye has historically held one of the largest lion populations in Zimbabwe.

“I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation,” Blondie Leathem, the conservancy’s general manager, told the National Post. “If anyone knows of a suitable habitat for them where they will not land up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not be beaten up because of existing prides, please let us know and help us raise the money to move them.”

Leathem explained that the lions are a big threat to the park’s other denizens, which included antelope, giraffes, leopards, and a number of other native species. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the conservancy is trying to recover from one of the driest summers on record.

Mickey and his brothers

Posted by Bubye Valley Conservation Research on Friday, August 21, 2015


Hunters traditionally helped to keep lion numbers in check, as well as bringing a much needed financial boost to the park. However, officials are now blaming something they call the “Cecil effect” for the lack of hunters. In 2015, the hunting of a black-maned lion named Cecil by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, drew international outrage after the Zimbabwe government accused Palmer of poaching. The charges were later dropped, but activist groups continued to target big game hunters in Africa and urged many governments, including Zimbabwe, to close their borders to hunters. This is despite the fact that many conservationists have long agreed that hunters are needed to not only manage wildlife populations, but also provide the funds to protect the same species they hunt.

Game species are not the only wildlife that hunters benefit. According to the Bubye Valley Conservancy, it is funds from sportsmen and women that allowed it to create its rhino conservation project, which manages the third largest population of black rhinos in Africa.

“Today, the hunters’ legends live again in the Bubye Valley, where populations of animals have had the time and the space to grow to maturity,” Bubye stated on its website. “Thriving herds live in balance on the open savannah, the mopani woodlands and in the dense riverine forests. The diverse habitats found in the Bubye Valley Conservancy now support an astonishing 35 species of wild, free-ranging game animals including the classic Big Five.”

The conservancy spans roughly 850,000 acres.




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94 thoughts on “Zimbabwe Park to Cull 200 Lions, Cites Lack of Hunters

  1. Typical. The bleeding heart progressives achieve the exact opposite of what they want by relying on emotion instead of logic.

    1. Yep the only losers will be the lions
      and other animals millions of years of our ecosystem adapted around hunting swept aside by the arrogance of hypocritical, arrogant and ignorant people with no experience or clue of hunting other than some muppet on Facebook

    2. the EXACT thing that occurred with the Syrian boy washed up on shore and the flood gates opened for the cell phone-well dressed refugees. Lucky for the families that the sacrifice of a child gives the living family martyrdom status. Bleeding heart Liberals with their PC tree hugging cumbiah camp fire songs are killing this country.

  2. If I wanted to hunt an African Lion , or any other big game in Africa , Zimbabwe would NOT be destination . The government of Zimbabwe lied about the whole incident , then rather than admit any failure on their part ,pretend it never happened . Meanwhile a man had his life turned into a truckload of manure by schadenfreud antihunting terrorists . Only a fool ( the U.S. State Department !) would trust the Zimbabwe government .

    1. Keep on telling yourself that idiot. You and your ilk are the ones that hold self entitled positions in life and tend to breed like a virus regardless of the human population stance. Conservation will start when people like you are prevented from multiplying. You brainless prics bring nothing positive to this planet.

      1. Well guess what sissy boy, its allll legal and always will be. Sounds like a win for us 😀
        DEAL with it! HAHAHA

    2. KILLING IS NOT CONSERVATION! That is the big LIE that hunters love to tell to justify their ugly bloodlust. NO. Killing is NOT conservation.

      1. Oh shut up you bleeding heart idiot. YOu have no idea what you’re talking about. It is indisputable FACT that hunters are the worlds LEADING conservationists. Look it up Organizations like RMEF have done more for conservation than any other group in existence. And by FAR more than you’ve ever done. Moron. Grow a backbone. Get over it you’re just WRONG

      2. And, here it is. You are showing your TRUE COLORS, Landon. Calling people names like “bleeding heart idiot” and telling me to shut up. I have lots of knowledge of what I speak of. I am a conservationist and you have NO IDEA what I have done… seems as if you are the out of touch one here, and with vile rude lack of civility as well. It is NOT an indisputable “fact” that hunters lead in conservation. That’s a crock. Lots to dispute here. And I’ve got one HELL of a backbone. You have nothing about me at all. Seems as though I have touched a nerve with you. Lol.

      3. No one is reading your ignorant foofoo posts you moronic unicorn rider. You have lost. You LOSE! You get NOTHING! lol

  3. A similar tragedy will occur with the Elephant over-population in Botswana,the savanh denuded of foliage,water points dominated by elephants to the detriment of other animals.Conservation..uh?

  4. If you read the larger article this land is owned by Charles Davy, a wealthy land owner. He has these lions and land specifically to sell to hunters. So he is threatening to kill them to get to the hearts of conservationists so he can profit. He needs to take down his fences and let the animals roam free rather then being fenced into his enclosure. This is no more representative of the wild population than a deer farm in texas is representative of wild deer.

    1. let the lions roam free onto other peoples land to decimate their livestock and possibly kill people. very people know but africa doesnt have as much wild land as the world thinks, its fairly industrialized. i would love to let every animal live but they don’t know how to control their numbers or stay away from people.

      1. Control their own poachers and they preserve the animals. Animals left to their own wits will survive.There are many animals now surviving because hunting inside city limits has been forbidden. Special hunting season was allowed by a city at a local airport because of deer.They had to be thinned out.Look in your cities in the suburbs and you will find more road kill that in many country locations.

    2. M73….

      Or Whoever you are hiding behind that stupid name….

      Your LACK of common sense is astounding……

      “let the animals roam free””…. Right into private land so they can be killed by home oweners….


      Seriously….. You M73 need to put your head between your legs and Scream… POP….?????

      That will be You pulling your head out of your ASS….!!!!

      1. Brian Laverenz your lack of intellect to have an intelligent response without name calling shows exactly what a pile of crap you are. Have you ever been there? Yes I have, and I am going back again for the entire month of Sept. Do you have a degree in wildlife biology? I doubt it. you probably are a uneducated laborer with a gun that thinks you know everything. How much do you know about and have worked with lions, wolves etc in the US? Or are you one of those SSS type guys. This report is totally unrepresentative of the wild population period. Its someone that bought land, to sell to hunters but now his income is reduced. So he is making irrational threats to kill 200 lions cause of a population boom? So that park had permits to take 4 lions in 2007, 4 lions in 2008, 3 lions in 2009, 4 lions in 2010, 5 lions, 3 lioness in 2011, 7 lions, 8 lioness in 2012, and so forth. So now all of a sudden a few weeks after the us puts lions on the ESA they need to cull 200. Get the F out of here. It is all marketing. Get your head out of your ass when you have ZERO facts.

      2. While I’ve never been to Africa and don’t pretend to understand the issues involved….but anyone that really believes that 200 lions need to be culled is flat out dumb. 200? How could any captive animal population grow that quickly (since the Cecil incident) and need to be destroyed in those numbers? Something smells here and it’s not the lion droppings…and I support hunting in most of it’s forms. What they do out there isn’t hunting…it’s killing. Going to a Preserve and being driven to a long known watering hole or food source and shooting from a roll cage of a Jeep is not hunting. There is ZERO skill involved in doing that. It’s the tracking & the chase that makes hunting what it is…the final shot is just the culmination of the hunt.

      3. Gary, I agree. I am not against hunting. But most of what goes on out there is not hunting. It is exactly as you described. I have lived in the bush for upwards of a month at a time studying these animals. This is just a ploy to get americans to think what happened is bad and get money flowing into a few select peoples pockets. If they came out with this news in say …. 3 years I would buy into it… But 6 months after cecil, a few weeks after the largest lion hunting year ever (due to trophy hunters fearing lion hunting being shut down) and a few weeks after the us shut down a lot of the lion hunting in Africa is exactly like you said… something smells here.

      4. You crybaby motherfucker. Go suck your own dick and beat on your wife you racist piece of shit.

    3. You obviously have never been to Zimbabwe. I lived there for three years and the second those fences go down, you’ve signed a death warrant for most of those animals, but especially the predators. The government would have to immediately hunt them and kill them to prevent attacks on farmers and livestock in the area. There are no open lands for free-roaming wildlife in most of Africa anymore, only private and government refuges that are in desperate need of funding. Hunting fees are one major source of that funding, as well as photographic safaris, birding tours, etc. But one hunter taking a single lion, provides $50,000 US plus, which is a fortune in that economy. 200 culled lions are a waste, in more ways than one.

      1. When I was at Hwange or Victoria falls i don’t recall seeing any fences. As a matter of fact the only thing that separates Hwange is railroad tracks thus how they were able to lure Cecil from the park. So your statement isn’t always true

  5. Mike Dunger, do you blame progressives for everything? What do they have to do with this? Don’t put all progressives in the same group as animal lovers with no common sense.

  6. I a a long time hunter, but not a trophy hunter. Why does the Zimbabwe gov’t need hunters to cull out the excess lions. Their wardens and bio’s can do that. Ever hear of a Dept of Wildlife Services here in states..You can keep the politic’s and money out of it that way.

  7. Hey PETA members!: Have you hugged your friendly local sharpshooter today? Time to view life from more than just one perspective.

  8. Article is completely inaccurate and false. Do you REALLY think lions
    have “overpopulated” in the short 8 month time since the Cecil incident?
    It’s impossible in such a short span of time. What IS happening is Zim
    is in the middle of a severe drought. During times of drought, lions
    have an easy life, and hunting is easy. The carrying capacity of this
    park in ideal conditions is approx. 500 lions which is where they are at
    now. Except conditions of course are not ideal and they want to lower
    the pop. to 300. Right now, NO CULL is planned and some lions may be
    moved to other areas. Trophy hunters or lack thereof, have absolutely
    nothing to do with what is happening in this park.

    1. I’ve hunted Lemco, which is now Bubye Valley, and they had a huge lion population then. The gentleman who related the limited quota on lion hunting in the conservancy is absolutely right, it has been limited to anywhere from 2 to 4 for several years with strict rules around how old a lion must be before it can be taken and hunters are not allowed to take a pride male. These permits are hellishly expensive and one can wait years for an opening to for a permit. I’ve tried. I’m not aware that lionesses can be hunted at all and I suspect these management practices have indeed contributed to a high population of the cats in Bubye. The conservancy is over 750,000 acres. The only animals impacted by the fence are elephants and they can pretty much breach that fence anytime they want. Otherwise, there has been little need for animals to move off the place. if the fence was taken down, the wildlife populations, especially elephants would be poached out of existence. Every game animal is viewed as “bushmeat” or personal income by the Zimbabwean population and they would be snaring and shooting them until few remained. This is the case almost all over Zim except where government game scouts, anti-poaching units and landowners protect them. I do suspect there are probably too many lions in the conservancy, but it’s more likely females, cubs and immature males. It would be very easy to control the big males with a few more permits. And, an overpopulation of lions other than mature males is absolutely not a result of a “Cecil” reaction. Hunters generally don’t want to shoot females or immature males.

    2. impossible? So 500 lions in their reservation, lets say half had one cub this year. This would be 250 new lions right? Gestation period is 3 months and most have 1-6 cubs a year. So simple math shows this could get out of hand quickly.

      1. You are a little late to the party, lol. The Bubye Valley Conservancy is a hunting conservancy and they have already stated quite clearly that NO lions were culled so the point is moot. However, your post is slightly inaccurate….the gestation period is 110 days, not three months. Avg litter is 2-4 and less than half survive to adulthood. Now do your simple math. Also, you might want to add the fact that as a hunting conservancy, the overwhelming majority of male lions will be slaughtered at age six.


    1. First off, i do not trophy hunt and am not thrilled about it. That being said, i do see he value and necessity of it. ive looked at both sides and dont let emotions get in the way to come to this conclusion.
      Saying nature balances itself is naive. Before farming and the rapid spread of man taking over natural habitat, this would be true.
      Moving the lions would be fantastic. However, its tough to move 200 lions without the roughly $6,000,000 (200 x $35k per lion hunt- $1mil to be conservative) in conservation funds lost by lack of hunting. Now Zimbabwe goverment has to PAY for these agressive, dominant, past breeding age lions (who murder cubs) to be removed. The 200 lions could be higher since goverment doesnt have the same funds to protect them from poachers. If all the people who have scared these wealthy trophy hunters into submission, raised a couple million dollars then kudos. But they don’t. Unfortunately the only group of people that are interested enough in lions to raise that kind of money, are hunters

      1. There is absolutely NO value in trophy hunting. Just the value of a sick individual that feels he needs to kill something to prove his manhood. Vile.

  10. The article seems to be heavily balanced towards lion breeders. In the wild lions have one or two cubs a year, not 200 in 9 months.

    1. So 500 lions in their reservation, lets say half had one cub this year. This would be 250 new lions right? Gestation period is 3 months and most have 1-6 cubs a year. So simple math shows this could get out of hand quickly.

  11. The whole world is full of do gooders who know little of what hunters have saved. I grew up within 1/2 mile of where I live now, 78 years ago, and there were no deer here until about 15 years ago.When I grew up and started hunting we had to drive over 70 miles to get even close to any deer. Now we are over run with them.

    1. Killing is NOT conservation. Hunters LOVE this LIE becuase it seemingly justifies their warped view of what is “sport”. Bloodlust is more like it and the true conservationists of this world do not KILL to save. It is an oxymoronic belief and simply not true. KILLING IS NOT CONSERVATION.

  12. Africa may need to open a season on their local poachers who are stupid enough to believe animal parts will cure disease in other countries who have stupid people with plenty of money.

  13. I do think we need to give wide berth to someone who gets a thrill out of killing an elephant and probably no one ever eats.I feel sure a trophy was not considered when elephants were put on the ark.

    1. Buddie if you are not well informed rather don’t say stupid stuff like “thrill out of killing an elephant” that is the first animal that gets shot because of overpopulation they have the biggest impact on other grass eaters (let me guess you don’t stay in Africa but comment like you well informed )

      1. Buddie, if overpopulation is the biggest problem, let us try and shoot a few two legged ones, if it was not for human overpopulation we would not need to shoot the animals. I believe it takes 2 years for an elephant to give birth and they have more human traits than is known.

      1. NO! No it is NOT. It is sent straight to the taxidermist. There is even a price list on the SCI page that describes what happens to the animal when it is killed. It is loaded onto transport and sent to the taxidermist. Lions are killed for trophies and the BONE TRADE, NOT for meat. Stupid Asians believe that tiger and lion bone wine will help them get it up. This needs to END. And what a colonialist view of “meat” in Africa. Sick of hearing this argument when I know for a fact it is not true.

  14. Its liberals who hate white people that post all these pics and caption them with some kinda hate speech.
    Its odd they don’t post the real problem of the black people in Africa killing elephants and Rhinos and leaving the body only to take the Ivory.
    But just like in the USA, Only BLM

  15. I think Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS who vilifies all sport hunting said he has room for about 100 lions in his condo.. I will help pay to ship them over

  16. The stupidity and ignorance of the ‘Save-the’Whale’ crowd has gone from the odd random comment to terrorist threats against law-abiding Conservationists (licensed hunters) responsible for preserving these herds. ‘Animal Rights Activists’ don’t pay to create the vast majority of the wildlife habitat, monitor their numbers, and take the necessary steps to keep them strong & healthy, it’s ALWAYS been the licensed hunters who have done (and STILL DO) that.

    1. KILLING IS NOT CONSERVATION, and NO, it has NOT always been hunters who conserve. I can show you a list of depraved sickening psycho in the head trophy killers who revel in the blood lust and post photos about it. It’s a mindset… it’s a dark hole in the soul… it’s a real sickness. I have saved photographic PROOF of their deep depravity and vile ugly stunts. It is shocking. — It has always been the TRUE CONSERVATIONISTS who have worked to save wildlife habitat and wildlife without killing. Jane Goodall, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Steve, Terry and Bindi Irwin, Jeff Corwin, Farley Mowat, Captain Paul Weston, Claudine Andre, Willie Smits, Virginia McCracken, Lion Aid…. I can go on.

  17. Wow! It is so sad to see so many people o this tiny earth that was created by GOD and that people have the lack of knowledge of the word of GOD as it is written in Genesis 1:26-31 that man will have dominion over all the living fowl and the fish of the sea and animals on earth. The live of an animal is considered more valuable than human lives today because of money making green peace organisations that say they are conservation aware but meantime they are making millions behind closed doors. Ask these people to stand up for human abortion then they have thousands of excuses for not doing it. Yes I am a hunter and a conservations and proud of it we do more to conserve for the animal Kingdom that all other green organisation on this planet and we have the prove of it, there are more wild game on farms in Africa than ever before and that is because of hunters who have knowledge and experience. Yes there is
    poaching and animals get slaughtered for money and it will continue because of cities and green peace who no that there is 1000 of tons of ivory and rhino horn in wearhouses that can be sold to the illegal buyers paying a tip to a poacher that will continue to poach to survive. But that is not how they want it they want to rule everything and always use the bad of poaching and hunting to make their point and stuff the people. If there is hunting allowed there will be food on the table for that community and schools which the so called bad hunters provided and water and boreholes for water ask any green peace organisation if they have done it and the answer is and will be NO!!! They do not care for a human live. So if that lions get shot don’t look at the farmer look at the one’s ruling ,the so called green organisations.

    1. Just ’cause a [less than] 2000 y/o book says something, doesn’t mean you should simply accept it at face value, uncritically. Damn people are dumb…

      Done with your bizarre tin foil hat rant yet?

  18. Sounds like the animals need to be moved to other parks / areas where populations are low or in decline. Wish other populations could be allowed to “bounce back.” Rhinos, etc. Hate seeing things get pushed to the brink of extinction. Can’t we find something better to do with our time and money than hunting other sentient creatures for sport, nonsensical voodoo medicine, etc.?

      1. What am I hearing here, lions have been bred especially to be killed by a hunter, we should not interfere with nature. In Zimbabwe we all know where the money goes, and it is not to conserve the animals, they say the good die young, just shows how evil Mugabe is.

      2. You are stupid beyond belief..Lions in this are were never bred for hunting..Only in South Africa was this done….These are wild and u need to go to Africa and see what it’s like instead of visiting through the internet.

      3. And you, whoever you are, are rude beyond belief. You do not know whether I have been to Africa or not, so you are the stupid one in this case by making wrong assumptions. I am quite aware of what goes on in Africa.

      4. Campbell King, you are beyond rude. STFU. Margaret knows a hell of a lot more than you do, clearly.

  19. Dudes be practical, if you want to cull the herd, which we do here in Alaska, have paying hunters do it under supervision, and use the proceeds to keep the park financially stable. I am sure there are many Guides who would love to jump at this chance, and to help donate more to the park.

  20. Zimbabwe has lost at least 80% of all wildlife that thrived on private property since 2000. Wild lions are on the decline across Africa so if their are this many in the Bubye conservancy, I’m sure that buyers are available from surrounding countries?

  21. Hunting is not the answer, especially for an endangered species. Human population expansion is the problem. If this is a conservation park, then that’s what should be practiced! Conservation! Humans don’t NEED that much space, unlike wild animals that rely on their territories as resources for food. Humans just want more space for their own selfish purposes!
    I understand that there are tribes living off of the land too, but for centuries both humans and animals have lived with very little competition for space up until the past 20 years or so. Imagine your home, when one day someone comes in and shoots you and your entire family, and everyone you know just for the sake of the little peice of land you’re living on. It’s the same with them.
    Practice the art conservation and show the world there are better ways than violence.

      1. Sorry big game hunter, but animals do not have to be on the endangered list for people not wanting to see them shot, when others pay £’000s to watch them in their natural environment.

      2. As are you…… such a rude person, you do not know me, you do not know if I have been to Africa or not. So get your facts right also, if you can.

      3. Of course, the penny has dropped. You are a hunter, well, well, well, no wonder you do not like people criticising the hunting of wild animals. And don’t give me that old chestnut that you are a conservationist.

  22. What an evil country this is, its leaders have brought this country into disrepute and to its knees. All they know is to kill. Can anyone help to save at least some of these lions, surely this cannot be allowed.

    1. Margaret unless you can take them i suggest you consider letting these people do their job. population of people has taken away the habitats of many animals and the land can no longer sustain such large numbers. would you rather they killed 200 humans and let them spread to those areas.

      1. Well that’s a thought………. what will will do when all the animals have been hunted to extinction, we will still have trillions of humans on the planet fighting each other. I was thinking more of Birth Control we cannot sustain such numbers on our planet indefinitely.

      2. margaret if you are so concerned kick up some money to help them. they are asking for donations…

      3. Brian, I put my money where my mouth is, I donate to most of the Animal Charities all over the world if you don’t donate to these charities you have no right to criticise.

      4. I do too, Margaret. I donate every single extra dollar I have to lion conservation causes, and I have for years. Lions are my specialty and I am knowlegable in this. Traveling to Africa in June to volunteer at an ethical sanctuary and work for conservation. Putting my money where my mouth is always.

      5. Margaret, these lions will NOT be “hunted.” They will be killed by government game park employees. IF they were hunted, they would bring income to the local area of $40000 to $80000 per lion – money that would benefit the park, the animals in it and local inhabitants – the BENEFIT of legal hunting.

      6. A cull, is a controlled measure of re-establishing balance to the cycle.

        Logic states that if there are too many predators in an ecosystem, where resources (ie prey) can’t sustain them, they’ll die of starvation.

        So by your logic. Better to let lions starve to death, in agony than die by a relatively more humane bullet.

        Check your virtue signalling.

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