JOHANNESBURG – Some call it the Cecil the lion effect.
A year ago, an American killed a lion in Zimbabwe in what authorities said was an illegal hunt, infuriating people worldwide and invigorating an international campaign against trophy hunting in Africa. Some conservationists, however, say there are greater threats to Africa's beleaguered lion populations, including human encroachment on their habitats and the poaching of antelopes and other animals for food, a custom that deprives lions of prey.
Luke Hunter, president of conservation group Panthera, says the death of Cecil raised lions' profile on the "conservation radar," but notes governments and other groups can do more to protect wildlife areas where they roam.
Cecil died July 1 in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park after initially being wounded in a protracted hunt.