A real tragedy has taken place in Kenya. The world's oldest lion, a 19-year-old male, was stabbed to death by Maasai morans after entering a livestock enclosure on the outskirts of the famous Amboseli National Park. The animal, named Loonkito, was sick, had problems and being unable to run anymore, unlike the other specimens, he attempted to capture easy prey, i.e.
livestock. "It is with a broken heart that we share the news of the passing of Loonkito (2004-2023), the oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly Africa," the non-profit Kenya Wildlife Service said on Facebook. Conservation group Lion Guardians, which was following Loonkiito, said: "Loonkiito was the oldest male lion in our ecosystem.
The end of a drought is usually marked by an increase in human-lion confrontations. Wild prey recover and become more difficult to hunt. In desperation, lions often wander off to capture livestock. A difficult situation for both villagers and lions.
Livestock owners often lose many of their animals to drought and therefore they are particularly vigilant in guarding the cattle that are still alive."
Lions are in danger: here's how many are left
At the dawn of the third millennium most of the lions live in the nature reserves of sub-Saharan Africa.
A population of a few hundred Asiatic lions also survives in the Sasan-Gir National Park (1412 km²), in the state of Gujarat in India. In order to protect this tiny population from epidemics and other environmental hazards, a program of reintroduction of the Asiatic lion is also underway in the Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, a nature reserve in the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh.
The population is increasing in number, albeit slowly. The total number of lions in the wild in the 2000s is estimated at between 16,000 and 30,000 specimens. These numbers show a dramatic decline since the 1990s, when the lion population was estimated at around 100,000.
The remaining populations are often geographically isolated from the others, which further increases the conservation challenges of the species.