A professional hunter in Zimbabwe has canceled a plan to raffle a lion hunt at a hunters' convention in the United States, following protests from activists.

Martin Nel said last week that he was scrapping the raffle in which he hoped to sell 100 raffle tickets for $1,500 each in Las Vegas next month.

Nel says the raffle winner could also have chosen to have a lion collared for research, and that the project was designed to raise funds for conservation studies at Zimbabwe's Bubye Valley Conservancy.

Some conservationists describe lion hunting as a threat to the species, whose numbers in the wild are dwindling.

Last year, an American hunter killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe in what authorities said was an illegal hunt, causing an international outcry.