Loonkiito, the oldest lion in Africa, and possibly the world, has been killed in Kenya at the age of 19 on Wednesday, said Lion Guardians, a conservation organisation. The lion was entering a livestock pen at night looking for a prey, as he was starving, and killed by the owner.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Loonkiito, he was the oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly in Africa. He was a symbol of resilience and coexistence. We at Lion Guardians feel privileged to have borne witness to his life and his legacy,” said the organisation.
It was rare for lions to survive past age 10 a decade ago, Lion Guardians attributes the long life of older wild lions to the efforts of local communities that share the land with lions.
Lions will travel far, sometimes venturing outside of protected areas, to look for prey when their food source diminishes, and can pose a risk to human communities when they prey on their livestock. Farmers often kill them in retaliation or to prevent conflict.