The tragic end of one of the oldest lions in the world

According to Kenyan officials, a wild lion was killed by farmers. 19yearold Loonkiito was thought to be one of the oldest lions living freely in the wild.

He was killed on Wednesday evening (10) in the village of Olkelunyiet after attacking cattle raised by residents of the area.

The village borders the Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya.

Conservation group Lion Guardians said he is “the oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly in Africa”. Most lions live around 13 years in the wild, although they can live much longer in captivity.

According to the World Wildlife Federation, almost all wild lions live in Africa, but there is only a small population in India.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spokesman Paul Jinaro told the BBC the lion was old and frail and had migrated to the park village in search of food.

Jinaro could not confirm if he was the oldest lion in the country, but noted that he was “very old.”

The Lion Guardians group is committed to protecting the lion population in Amboseli National Park and said the recent drought in the region was “marked by an increase in humanlion conflict as hunting wild prey becomes more difficult”.

“In their desperation for food, lions often turn to livestock,” he said.

The group added that Loonkiito’s death was a “difficult situation for both the population and the lion,” praising the community as “a symbol of resilience and coexistence.”

Paula Kahumbu, conservationist and chief executive of WildlifeDirect, said she was saddened by the lion’s death and called for action to protect wildlife in the country.

“This is the tipping point for humanwildlife conflict and we need to do more as a country to protect the endangered lions,” Kahumbu told the BBC.

This article was originally published here