A 19-year-old male lion, believed to be one of the oldest in the world, was killed after trying to take livestock from a community in Kenya.
The animal, named Loonkiito, was born in 2004 and lived in the Amboseli-tsavo ecosystem – an area in Kenya that protects hundreds of species of wildlife and 1.3 million acres of land across four national parks.
Conservation organisation Lion Guardians announced the lion’s death on social media on Wednesday with “heavy hearts”, adding that he was the “oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly in Africa”.
Loonkiito was killed in Olkelunyiet village, according to reports.
The charity explained that due to a drought in the area, wild prey had become harder to come by, meaning hunting for food was much trickier for lions.
This led to the lion trying to take livestock from communities, which are already vigilant and protective about their remaining animals.
Lion Guardians said in a statement: “Unfortunately, Loonkiito was caught up in this dynamic as he was starving and jumped into an animal pen in the middle of the night.”
It added that the situation was “tough for both sides, the people and the lion”.
The charity said that a decade ago, there were no lions living beyond the age of 10 in the Amboseli-tsavo ecosystem, but the impressive longevity of Loonkiito and other lions around a similar age was down to the efforts of “the communities who bear the burden of sharing land with lions”.
It said it would remember Loonkiito as a symbol of “resilience and coexistence”.
This story originally appeared on Skynews