Two years after the infamous shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, one of his sons has also been shot and killed. Xanda, a six-year-old father with his own cubs, wandered outside of protected Hwange National Park earlier this month and was legally shot by a trophy hunter. Like Cecil before him, Xanda carried a radio collar as part of a long-term scientific research effort. Conservationists now fear that Xanda’s seven cubs could die as other males vie to take over for the late pride leader.

John R. Platt

is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.