Trophy hunters kill last endangered desert male lion – Namibia

Namibia has a unique breed of lions that has adapted to the desert environment. Over the years they have become rather popular to hunt especially the males. There are three lion prides with a total of 27 adult females and sub-adults/cubs without a single adult male. There was two males both collared who has been killed in a very small amount of time leaving the females without males and with no way of filling the void.

Last year November Adolf (Xpl-3) a large male lion was killed which left Leonardo (Xpl-44) the only adult male left in the Hoanib & Hoaruseb area’s in the northern section. 26 April 2010 Leonardo was shot by hunters while he was feeding in a small cave.

The person responsible has been named Keith Wright who is a owner of a professional game hunting business Didiamla Safaris Namibia. They specialise in trophy hunting. Keith Wright has said that it was a accident and he could not see the lions collar because his mane was so big. Showing little remorse in his actions and refusing to take responsibility for the harm he has caused the government is pressing charges. When he was approached for comment on it he admitted saying:

I am the guy. …. It was a lion out of a sustainable group of lions in the area. I work very closely with Flip Stander (conservation expert from Conservancy Safaris Namibia)

He claims this all was brought about by someone who has something against him rather than of any wrong  doing. He also claims he has a permit for that area and it was a perfectly legal hunt. Not so, according to the Deputy Director of Parks and Wildlife Management Colgar Sikopo confirmed that the police has opened a case of illegal hunting of a protected species. Claiming that Wright only has a permit to shoot a lioness in the Anabeb Conservancy Area while the male lion was killed in the Sestfontein Conservancy Area. Meaning that he had no right to be hunting there and even less to shoot a male. There is also the matter of the collar attached to Leonardo it was only placed on him March this year and cost of N$60 000 and that normally if a male lion is permitted to kill a percentage of that money would go to a foundation Purros Conservancy, that is the local African tribe Purros which mainly graze cattle they do hunt lions but mostly to protect their herds.

According to Flip Stander who works with the lions and track their movements, it is clear that Leonardo was also baited closer to the area where he was shot:

During the night of the 19th April 2010 (19/4 pm) Xpl-44 moved rapidly south, into the Sesfontein Conservancy, to a bait. The speed and directness of his movements suggests that he might have been called by sound playbacks. He remain at the bait until the morning of 21 April 2010. The mortality sensor inside his satellite GPS collar was activated later in the day, and it is estimated that he was shot between 07 – 09h00 (subject to error). By 14h00 the satellite collar was transmitting it’s position from a hunting camp 6 km north-east of Sesfontein.

The investigators are refusing to say more about the case, stating that it is a sensitive matter at the moment.

There has been a facebook group started Stop Keith Wright the KILLER of Leonardo the Lion to trade in Namibia. If you would like to support the dessert lions or learn more about them go to Flip Stander’s website:


Criminal charges has been laid against Keith Wright after a high-profile investigation by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism into the killing of Leonardo, a protected lion species.

The Deputy Director: Parks and Wildlife Management in the ministry, Colgar Sikopo, have confirmed that the Police had opened a case of illegal hunting of a protected species after Mr Wright admitted to shooting the collared lion.

The Ministry has said that Keith Wright only had a permit to shoot a lioness and only in the Anabeb Conservacy Area. He had no authorisation from them to hunt a lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy Area.

51 thoughts on “Trophy hunters kill last endangered desert male lion – Namibia

    1. Errr he is obviously NOT an “ethical hunter” if there is even such a thing & NOT such a good man, great father & husband if he sets this kind of example for his family. What planet do you live on????

  1. Fuck all this motherfucking stupid hunters! Please someone kill and torture these motherfuckers! They have no right to live! They’ll just destroy every fucking endangered animals just for FUN?! Fuck them!

  2. Poachers should be skinned slowly while alive, and be burned, and give their roasted corpses to these poor lions. If possible they deserve MUCH MUCH MUCH worse!

  3. This story is very upsetting. These trophy hunters are nothing but WHORES for the American dollar. This is typical for Africa. Trophy hunters have no problem with luring lactating female lions away from her cubs so some douchebag from Germany can shoot her for a trophy- Who does that? These guys are criminal poachers- we will see how many are convicted for the rhino poaching that many of them were involved in! There was a Mut of Omaha special on yesterday about the remaining lioness in a Park in Zambia that survived a massacre from trophy hunters who killed them all but her. They had to truck in 2 males to at least give these lions a chance at survival. Where was the government? These hunters offer a slice of the wild for their degenerate trophy hunting customers- the easiest kill possible- made possible with BAIT- how sporting!!!!!! Emotion aside- these people like Wright are clearly the worst our species has to offer. I hope they confiscate the trophy and throw this loser in jail. Mr I didn’t see the collar because his mane was so thick Wright. Someone should BAIT him with a pile of cash- he will go for it that’s for sure

  4. This is so very, VERY unnecessary! Why the **** would they do these?! These greedy bastards should be shot where they stand! We must create a law that severely punishes whomever hunts any endangered animals!

  5. Congratulations Mr Voerman!
    Your campaign, although based on very unreliable information, has been successful. Your very personal attack on Didimala Safaris and the Wright family has caused us some severe obstacles in the hunting fraternity. I cannot access your Facebook page but there are a few points I would like you to make public.
    Leonardo was not the last male lion left in the Sesfontein Conservancy. See Desert Lion Foundation Website.
    Leonardo was a free range male lion in the Sesfontein Anabeb Conservancy.
    He had been collared by Dr Flip Stander of The Desert Lion Foundation for research purposes. By Dr Standers own admission,he had spent many hours habituating this lion to vehicles and tourists in the area. The collar was a dark brown collar and not easily visible under the lions mane.
    We had an allocation and permit to shoot one male lion in this area.
    The Namibia Professional Hunters Association have completed an investigation into this case and found that we complied with all the legal requirements to hunt this lion.
    Mr Voerman, the people that you have most severely compromised in your campaign against my family and the hunting community, are the local community members.
    Their greatest income comes from hunting. ie trophy, own use or shoot and sell.
    Researchers and tour companies using this conservancy to generate income have no finacial obligation to the communities of these conservancies.
    Susan Wright

    1. And you are the whore married to Mr Wright I guess?
      What’s it like sleeping with a murderer?
      I hope he gets the same treatment he gave that defenceless lion.
      You and your family deserve the worst kind of retribution, and the most painful kind.
      I am ashamed to breathe the same air as you you whore!!!!

  6. Face it you people are FU&*^% Vampires who are WHORES for the American dollar. I hope you all rot in hell- douchebags!!!!!!!

  7. What’s so thrilling about killing an endangered, innocent animal? What kind of fucked up asshole would justify this fucked up shit? Fucking bastards!!

  8. For years I wanted to visit Africa. Tops on my list were SA, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania. Slowly but surely I’ve crossed them off my list because of their tolerance of big game hunting. After this, I will NEVER set foot in Namibia.

  9. What you believe to be the economic value of trophy hunting is no justification for the killing of an endangered species. You want to help those communities? How about you set up education programmes centred around small business enterprise? How about providing schooling and school materials for the children?

  10. I am directing my above reply to Ivan Troev. Well, have you written your book yet Ivan Troev? I have not heard anything about it. Ok, well then wait for this book coming out. “The Notorious Animal Killers”. You and Susan Wright will be the stars supported by all the notorious animal killers.

  11. I am directing my above reply to Ivan Troev. Well, have you written your book yet Ivan Troev? I have not heard anything about it. Ok, well then wait for this book coming out. “The Notorious Animal Killers”. You and Susan Wright will be the stars supported by all the notorious animal killers.

  12. This story isn’t the least bit surprising. Professional Hunters are disgusting, and so are trophy hunters. They want to kill an animal, pose for some tasteless pics, and brag to their friends. PHs want to make money. So, they’ll pull whatever dirty trick they can to get a trophy. Stories like this are commonplace. I hope the government of Namibia takes Keith Wright out into the desert, shoots him in both knees, and leaves him there.

  13. Greedy pigs these hunters and those that cater for this type of bussiness, My! such brave men? they go home and brag about their kill and hunting skills but the fact of the matter is they alway have the advantage over these poor defenceless beast….LOL..such bravery? hope he and other hunters will one day “DIE! by the the same animals they kill!!!!

  14. Sitting and smill after the kill as if it was so hard to kill these poor beasts with nowhere to hide…..hope they throw him in jail

    the ugly looking “P#@s!

  15. Face it folks, we humans are going to destroy this planet and everything on it. That is our nature. We are greedy, self centered and we have no concern for anything but ourselves. Sure there are a few good folk around but they are far outweighed by the majority. We actually struggle to be good. Sadly this poor lion has to pay the ultimate price for humans being humans. Only once we have faced the truth obout ourselves can we ever hope to start putting the pieces back together. Here is an idea : why don’t those big brave hunters go up against each other ? Level playing fields. They never will because they are just that, cowards. It is just so much easier if someone bates a lion for you, probably drugs it too, leads you to it and them stands behind you while you pull the trigger.

  16. I think it is Outragoeus that People are still allowed to Massacre Lions In South Africa and still get away with it,, This Arrogant Individual must not get away empty handed,, He and the Likes of him Who are SMUG PROUD and Take pictures of their “trophies” should be Fined if not Sentenced,, It is people like these who are an Insult to The Human Race,,,
    I am appalled at the Lack of Honesty and Willing to do something by the SA gouvernment,, Just as they are still far too Lenient with the Massacre of Lions by Foreigne Tourists.


  18. Do any of you uninformed, narrow minded people realise how much money professional hunters make for-

    1. Countries of Southern Africa such as Namibia, South Africa etc.
    2. Local native communities
    3. Conservation groups

    Would you prefer the lion to be killed by poachers or locals who retaliate against lions attacking their livestock getting no monetary value from the death or would it be better that the professional hunters give $200,000 US plus back to the communities and government per year (depending on the size of the conservency).

    Or perhaps we could let the mining magnates come in and take these areas used by the hunters. I am sure that they would look after all the animals.

    How about we take the emotion away. Would you people be as outraged over the death of a cow or sheep, something that we consume on a daily basis. Like it or not hunting is a form of farming. The last thing hunters want is to destroy their livlihood. What good is it to their business if their are no animals. I don’t like animals being hurt either but I am afraid man has been hunting animals since we could walk upright and will continue to do so.

    I am also sure that their are some unscrupulous hunters but on the hole am confident bide by the laws set by government. I also suspect that more will come out from this story. I would prefer to wait to get all the facts before I start to throw stones. I feel that the government also has to answer a few things.

    I hope that everyone that posts a negative comment against Keith Wright does not go home to a nice steak or wears leather.

    Also if you are going to comment don’t stand behind anonymous it shows that you are too gutless to stand for what you believe in.

    For the record I am not a hunter or Namibian, just an average Australian tired of people speaking before they think and taking up causes so they feel superior and educated over something they have know idea about.



  19. Killing animals without required permits is poaching. Poaching, if I am not mistaken, makes one a poacher.


  20. You’re a tool, enough said. As you said, you’re an average person, and that makes you a nobody. Your opinion is worthless. As for who I am, you can google my name + lions if you want. I’m also writing a book at the moment which will be published soon.

  21. Hi Cam and everyone else reading my comment,

    Eating steak does not make you a hunter. I am a proud Namibian, I grew up on farms, cattle farms…fortunately never been to a slaughter house. Yes, i’ve been out with hunters / trophy hunters and it always made me puke. Hunting is for meat, and meat only, so you can feed off it, and the skin be used and the keratin in the horns be used and the hooves….but just to hunt to have your picture taken with this magnificent beast…that has survived this hard country for so long to look as majestic as at the moment as you shoot him…for it is normally males….the biggest horns right? Ever seen a Gemsbok shot in the bush? Then you get close to the dying body…kicking….oh but you dare not get close, as that is when they are at their most dangerous…those horns are so sharp….so you watch as they kick and struggle to breathe…fighting for dignity … blood streaming from their mouths…and you watch their coat….as their body calms down, the hair rises…that is when you stay clear…spikey hard hair…and a stiff body..then you wait….and wait…till the hair settles on the limb warm body….and then you still wait for it to get totally settled and calm before you touch your kill….
    And this is just hunting for meat
    Now those out there doing trophy hunting have no idea of what their prey endures or the process of killing…..Yes, it is an income for many people in Namibia, but it is sad that they kill the majestic animals that survived natural predators and have grown into the most amazing beasts only to be killed by humans for money. If it was me, i would rather be killed by a lion, leopard, wild cat, wild dog, hiena, or even drought…not a bullet

    Mining magnets are not allowed to just come in and do as they please…actually it is the local people that mine illegally that destroy and kill…but shame, they must also survive and have to eat….so who gives a fuck as the impact is not that big yet…..give it another 20 years or so…

    No harm in hunting…but it should done humanly and controlled….and if you want to do it for fun….go buy an X-Box game


  22. Cameron
    Your Feeble Attempt at Justifying the Massacre of Lions In Namibia or South Africa is Sloppy and Undignified of Someone calling himself a “Human Being”,, How can you Called people who you do not know ,”Uninformed and “Norrowminded, Just because they air their Opinions and Rightly so against the Massacre of Lions, We All have that right ,,
    THis Mass Murder of Africas National Treasure is a Shame to all Humanity,, let alone to the Namibians and South Africans,, What Nation organises Breeding of a National Embleme,,like the lion,And then Cowardly sell them to be Butchered by Tourists for Finacial Gain?? 26,000$ per Male Lion,and even more for a white one,, ?
    What kind of Human being are you to even Associate their Killings to A Sheep or a cow?? Where in Heavens name is the Connection?
    if Vegeterians protest against the killings of ” Domestic Animals for Human Consumtion,”which may I remind you is part of the Human Consumtion,, It is their right ,As theses Animals are part of our Regimes,,If they were killed for the FUN ,it would be as SHOCKING as This Insane Butchery of the Lions, “Maybe you’ll say Unfortunately,”Wheres the difference??, But its a Fact,, Where is the Comparisson ,to Bringing up Lions in Cages Fed,and trusted by Humans ,only later to be ,sold drugged and butchered without the right of defense?
    These Lions are NOT bred for Human “Consumtion “,and are not a benefice for Local Communities.

    These Massacres have been going on in SA and Namibia for quite some time,and The Respective gouvernments are Quite uneager to condemn these Barbaric Acts,Simply because of the Financial Gain.
    So you see CAMERON going home to a nice Steak ,or to wearing leather ,Just proves your Refus To Accept the fact that there IS a difference . Eating Meat and Willing to preserve Humanities Wild Life Treasures Cannot be compared,,, Please Do not Insult those who care, with that kind of “Logic” It would appear Unworthy of your “INTELLIGENCE”

  23. We see them come and go…strangers from Europe, the States, all-over…wanting to make a name in Africa..writing their life story about the “good deed” of saving some-thing in Africa…all bullsh*t. They are the “great white saviour of mankind and the African animal kingdom.
    Even have the balls to call another human..a tool..a nobody…really!? 18/19 year kid..

    In these days of strive and conflict
    we so easily forget, to see the humanity in our fellow humans.
    To each, our life’s road seem very normal, even ordinary.
    Yet, to other’s, it might seem a adventure, a dream fulfilled.

    When life’s road has been done
    neither monument or fame
    could capture our name that well
    as the loving memory
    in a child’s heart.

  24. Well done Ivan,
    A little bit emotional are we. I hope you get to use the word tool in your literary masterpiece. So you are writing a book, congratulations, does this make you a more important person. Why is my opinion worthless? Because I am not writing a book. Is everyone in this world who is average and not writing a book, a nobody. Unlike yourself I respect different opinions and can understand why this is creating such an outrage. More will come out of this case and I hope everyone can keep an objective view. But bravo on leaving your name.


  25. ……..says a lot about you Ivan, wanting to ‘eradicate’ the human race in Africa as you have highlighted throughout facebook on ‘BOYCOTT CAPTIVE LION BREEDING FARMS IN SOUTH AFRICA’

    You are a hypocrite Ivan having no idea what you are saying!!


    I just wanted to wish you my sincere well wishes for killing a magnificent creature.

    It is a shame that you don’t turn the gun on yourself

  27. this poachers, uhh man i realy want to kill this humans they realy pissing me off killing those animals for fun? and money goddammit i hope u guys burn in hell for eternity i hope u suffer there for ever!!!!!!!!!

  28. Everyone leave Cameron alone. He comes from a country where they do mass slaughting of their own national animal, the kangaroo and he doesn’t know any better.
    At least here in Africa most people respect our African wildlife and try to look after it as we know how precious it is and how lucky we are to have it.

  29. After reading all positive and negative comments made on this subject , I come to the conclusion that focus is lost and the impact stands as tall as when it occured, in spite of all comments made , rightly or wrongly , having served the single purpose of deviation, leading to failure and distraction from addressing and solving the issue of killing of a lion on Namibian soil, legally or illegally; question being whether it is adequate and desireable to be allowed to continue as it is functioning at present, alternatively to be stopped totally , or to be revised and implemented according stricter to the Namibian Constitution,based on problem solving of the existing application with loophole elimination implemented.
    The protection of our Namibian Ecology, including its Fauna and Flora, is written into and guaranteed protection by The Namibian Constitution. I suggest the following steps to be taken with immediate effect;
    1) Assign a hand selected team of police investigators and parks and nature conservation officials as part of a commission lead by a judge, to help investigate and urgently finalise a conclusion on the unfortunate issue.
    2) A total temporary ban on the commercial killing of lion,elephant ,leopard, cheetah,and hippopotamus until finally resolved.
    3) Appointment of an able inspectorate to investigate all recorded killings of such animals done since independance on a commercial basis, highligting ecological impacts,actual financial gain by the Namibian Treasury in cash compared to constant tourism income with such animals as attractions in areas where such animals were killed as trophies or problem animals. Problems encountered with existing law implementation ,loopholes,illegal actions and procedures concerning and monitoring and administrating such concession holders and hunters.
    4)Appoint, train and let qualify pesific Game Rangers to replace hunting guides to deal with problem animals in quickest and most thorough way possible on decissions made on merits of each unique case, as per indicated action by the Inspectorate on occurence of such incidents. Also to act on concession areas,like the Sea Fisheries Inspectors until the problem is solved.
    5) Hold a public poll on a) whether or not further commercial hunting by private individuals on Stateland and communal ares/concervancies is desireable,where such privcate individuals and companies use National Resources for private existence,b) whether or not commercial hunting guides should only be allowed to excercise their trade on registered hunting farms, excluding the above animals where Game Rangers will always monitor the hunt physically in all cases even on such Commercial farms, to eliminate baiting and exploitation for example. c) Not to allow any hunting on mentioned animals from vehicles, with at least a two kilomettre distance between the vehicle and the prey covered on foot before shooting.d) Let hunters not kill,rather shoot and tag with aneasthetics,take his picture and resell the animal many times, without breaking the chain of ecology.
    6) Make a Cabinet decision based on all above information and other relevant influencing factors as to what option to implement for future conservation regarding this sensitive issue.
    7) Allow only photos as trophies of the mentioned animals to be taken out of Namibia, and rather sell such problem animals as far as practically positive to approaved parks, condition not be killed.
    As with quadbikes, the time has come for Namibians to start playing an active and positive participating roll in our ecology.

  30. I dont understand why people would actually want to kill an animal like that. I dont understand why anyone would want to kill an endangered animal. I mean come on people. By the time the world realizes whats going on, all of the animals will be gone. It can happen and it will happen if people continue to be stupid and greedy. I mean who gives a crap if it gives you a lot of money. There is other ways then taking a life. I mean. Ugh. Its so frusteresting. The Black Rhino is already gone. What animals going to come next? Lion, Cheetahs? Elephants? Beautiful birds. Bears? There is no reason to do this. This man should not live.

  31. For me it’s not about the emotional value of a Lion, it’s about killing one of the last members of an endangered race of lions, see the difference?

  32. Killing for meat would be ethical and understandable – killing a lion as a trophy hunter is a horrible act. So you want us to believe that because Keith supposedly helps the economy this action was justified? What a pathetic way to fill your own pockets – and claim to be beneficial. Sorry bloke, I’m not buying your crap!

  33. I will make sure your book do not sell, and you think writing a book will make you somebody important? You will be famous alright, as a Notorious Lion and Animal Killer”. Now this just gave me an idea. I will also write a book and it will be called, “The Notorious Animal Killer” and you will be the Star!!

  34. You think writing a book will make you somebody important? You will be famous alright, as a Notorious Lion and Animal Killer”. Now this just gave me an idea. I will also write a book and it will be called, “The Notorious Animal Killer” and you will be the Star!!

  35. I am directing my above reply to Ivan Troev. Well, have you written your book yet Ivan Troev? I have not heard anything about it. Ok, well then wait for this book coming out. “The Notorious Animal Killers”. You and Susan Wright will be the stars supported by all the notorious animal killers.

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]

  36. I fully agree . I wont wear anything from an animal OR eat animal products! , however , my husband DOES hunt , he hunts ONCE a year ONE animal , he does his best for a clean quick kill. He eats the meat , he gives some to the homeless and he uses the skin ,bones ect for his weird stuff LOl . It does upset me knowing he is out hunting ! but id rather my loving husband kindly killed one a year for food than to eat from Mcdonalds!

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