Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe is facing a problem with its lion population, it has too many. The park currently has a population of roughly 500 lions, and the officials who run the park have warned that they may be forced to kill up to 200 of them in order to stabilize the population. The lions are reportedly over hunting other animals on the reserve like cheetahs and giraffes.
The general manager of the park, Blondie Leathem, has asked for anyone who knows of a suitable habitat them to step forward, and that anyone willing may assist in raising money for the move. He has said that the lions must not end up in an area where they would face conflict from humans or another pride of lions.
The conservancy is attributing the sudden overpopulation problem to something they are calling “the Cecil effect”. Saying that they previously relied on big game hunters to maintain the population, but since the death of Cecil the Lion, hunters have been staying away from the region out of fear of public backlash. The Bubye Valley Conservancy has also relied on hunters as a means to keep the park open in a region where many others are being closed.
The global population of lions has dropped from 450,000 in the 1940’s to around 20,000 today. If you’re interested in hearing arguments for and against big game hunting as a method for conservation please see the links.