I don’t understand the pleasure of killing large animals. But I also don’t understand the overly emotional response to Cecil’s demise.

You think Cecil hasn’t killed some defenseless lions?

One of Cecil the lion’s cubs has reportedly been killed by a rival male who was trying to mate with his mother.

Cecil, a 13-year-old lion who was beloved by visitors and park rangers at his home in Zimbabwe, was killed last month by an American dentist on a hunting trip.

The death of one of Cecil’s eight cubs has raised fears for his remaining offspring, which could also be targeted by the large predatory male lion.

Wildlife guides warn that Cecil’s pride has only a five per cent chance of survival after several solitary male lions were spotted prowling near their abandoned den in Hwange National Park, according to the Sunday Mirror.

A source told the Mirror: “One of the eight cubs was killed by a male lion after Cecil was killed.

“Lions practise infanticide – the male looking to take over and mate with the three lionesses would have crushed the cub’s skull as he looked to stake his claim.”

The lionesses had tried to protect the cubs but can’t fend off the advances of large male lions for long, the source said.