A lion named Loonkiito died after being speared by herders in a village near Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The 19-year-old lion was considered one of the oldest in the world and was known as a symbol of resilience and coexistence. While most lions live up to around 13 years, Loonkiito surpassed that average. Human-lion conflicts tend to increase as wild prey becomes scarcer during droughts, causing lions to attack livestock and leading to tensions with local communities. The killing of Loonkiito highlights the challenging coexistence between humans and lions, and wildlife conservationists are calling for more efforts to preserve lions, which are facing extinction.
The Lion Guardians, a conservation group, described Loonkiito as the oldest male lion in their ecosystem and possibly in Africa. The group expressed their sadness over his death and their privilege of bearing witness to his life and legacy. Paula Kahumbu, a wildlife conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect, spoke about the need for more efforts to preserve lions in Kenya.