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Maasai Mara's Oldest Lion, Olorpapit Has Fallen

Maasai Mara's Oldest Lion 'Olorpapit'

by Muthoni Kimani November 25, 2020

Olorpapit, the oldest lion in Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Reserve, has died.

According to the park's management, Olorpapit died of natural causes, a tour driver discovered the body on the edges of his vast territory. The Chief Park Warden James Sindiyo disclosed that the 'King' had been weak for the past few years and his situation had worsened when he was attacked by younger lions a few weeks ago.

The Chief Park said;

"It's true we are celebrating the life of the iconic lion Olorpapit who has been ruling the Enkuiyani pride for the past 16 years. It died of old age at Olare Motorogi Conservancy. It was a celebrity lion that was a darling to tourists,"

James also described the iconic male as the most dominant, together with his younger brother Orbanoti. The latter is also estimated to be aged around 14 have been shuttling between Enkuiyani, Oldikdiki, Monika and Hamercop pride where their lineage is spread.

In August, the lion's condition attracted the attention of park management, the rangers treated and monitored it closely. As soon as word went around that the famous lion had rested, hundreds of international tourists and wild cat lovers who had interacted with the lion poured their tributes.

Lucy Johnson, a veteran wildlife photographer who posted on a Facebook page known as the "Big Cats of Masai Mara," said the lion died peacefully and with dignity.

She added;

"With great sadness, one of the Masai Mara famous lion king, Lorpapit of Enkuiyai pride passed away this afternoon of old age at the border of Olare Motorogi Conservancy. He died in peace and dignity,"

She said that since August, when his condition started worsening, it was brought to the attention of park management. He received treatment from a vet, and his condition was monitored closely by rangers of both reserve and conservancy.

"He passed away 300meters from rangers' post, and I reckon because he felt safe here, and in his last days, he was accompanied by his brother Olbarnoti,"

According to the African Lions Fact, an online lion platform, in the wild, the lifespan of lions is approximately 15 years; however, in captivity, it can be as long as 30 years.

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