Do you remember the public outcry in 2015 when dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed Cecil The Lion with a bow and arrow?
Two years later these pictures show Cecil The Lion’s adorable ‘grandcubs.’
The beautiful cubs are the offspring of Cecil’s five-year-old son Xanda.
The proud animals have been pictured heading out for a walk with their protective mother inside the 14,000 square mile Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
The arrival of the cubs have delighted park staff, who were devastated after Cecil was killed by trophy hunter Walter Palmer.
Palmer, from Minnesota, paid $40,000 to kill the Cecil, who was being monitored as part of an Oxford University research project.
The dentist, who said he never would have shot Cecil ‘if he’d known he had a name’, found himself the target of international hatred after he hunted and killed Cecil on July 1st 2015.
Black-maned Cecil, who was thirteen at the time of his death, had wandered out of the boundaries of Hwange National Park onto territory where hunts were allowed.
His grandcubs, however, are thriving within the grounds – which is where they were spotted by safari operator Graham Simmonds.
‘The cubs are part of the Ngamo Pride which were fathered by Xanda, one of Cecil’s surviving sons.’ says Graham Simmonds, who works with the Wilderness Safari operation in the Linkwasha Camp.
Simmonds also revealed how brave Xanda is, as he was recently seen chasing two nomadic male lions from the area, even though he was outnumbered three to one.
Simmonds says the cubs in the photos are from two mothers.
Xanda mated with two female lions last year. Each lioness helps with the task of bringing up the cubs.
Walter Palmer had a permit to hunt and was not charged with any crime. It was reported that police in Zimbabwe were seeking the extradition of Palmer but that did not happen.
Authorities have since said that Palmer is free to visit the country as a tourist but not as a hunter.
Palmer received death threats and was targeted at his dental practice when he returned to work.