King Misuzulu allegedly needed help from professional hunter to kill lion, angers animal rights group
“How is there anything respectful or admirable about this form of cowardice?”
Ban Animal Trading says traditions needs to be reassessed when they become harmful to the environment or others.
King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has “come under fire” from an animal rights group after killing a lion ahead of his coronation.
After performing the ceremony of entering the kraal at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace on Saturday, Misuzulu was publicly announced as king by Zulu royal family elders.
But before that, the royal hunt for a lion, led by the Zulu King, took place at the Mkuze Falls Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Thursday.
The king and his entourage – which included a professional hunter and game reserve officials – went for the hunt in a vehicle rather than on foot as it was “too dangerous”. !!
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Thousands of traditionally dressed Zulu warriors and maidens descended upon KwaKhangelamankengane royal palace in KwaNongoma, to celebrate the traditional coronation of newly crowned Zulu king Misuzulu ka Zwelithini on Saturday (August 20).
Sunday Times reported that King Misuzulu shot the lion in the leg before the hunter finished the job, which has angered non-profit organisation (NPO), Ban Animal Trading.
“How is there anything respectful or admirable about this form of cowardice?” the organisation said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
The organisation said it was of the view that traditional practices should be changed if they had become harmful to people or the environment. However, without comprising the significance of culture and tradition.
“We do respect cultures, but this is not a traditional act in any way. Did people travel to the animal’s location via a vehicle after someone else had tracked the animal, and then shot him or her in the leg with a rifle so that someone else needed to put said animal out of their misery?
“This is not tradition, nor is it culture. Besides, when traditions become harmful to others, it is then that we need to reassess them,” the NPO further said in reply to one Facebook user.
It is said that the king and amabutho (Zulu regiments) previously rode horses on the royal hunt, but University of KZN cultural expert Dr Gugu Mazibuko noted this has changed in the modern day.
“Animals were everywhere in the past and they used to go hunting using spears. Rifles came very late to KwaZulu-Natal. Now there are game reserves, animal rights activists, and organisations looking after the welfare of animals, so the method of hunting has changed,” Dr Mazibuko told Sunday Times.
In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared King Misuzulu as the monarch of the Zulu nation, paving the way for him to be anointed the successor to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, who died early last year due to complications caused by Covid-19 and diabetes.
King Misuzulu coronation ceremony unfold amid divisions within the Zulu royal family over the succession to the throne.
Some royal family members want the new king’s half brother Prince Smakade Zulu appointed, while others claimed that Prince Buzabazi Zulu – another half brother – was the rightful heir to the throne.
Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu and her two daughters, Ntandoyenkosi and Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, have since been granted a leave to appeal the judgment that dismissed their contestation over the late king’s will.