A wild male lion believed to be oldest in Africa and one of the world’s oldest, has died after being speared by herders, authorities in Kenya have said.
Loonkiito, who was 19, died in Olkelunyiet village on Wednesday night, May 10 after preying on livestock.
The village borders Amboseli National Park – in southern Kenya.
Conservation group Lion Guardians said he was “the oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly in Africa”. Most lions live to around 13 in the wild.
Almost all lions live in Africa with a small population in India, according to the World Wildlife Federation.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spokesperson Paul Jinaro said on Friday May 12, that the lion was old and frail and wandered into the village from the park in search of food.
Jinaro didn’t confirm if he was the oldest lion in the country but noted he was “very old”.
The average lifespan of a lion is about 13 years in the wild, although they can live much longer in captivity.