The oldest lion in Kruger, the Lubyelubye male, is seen battling out his last days with no food and no family to help.
Storm Zackey and Andrew the Videoguy were among the visitors to the Kruger National Park who were fortunate enough to witness this heartbreaking scene. The story, images, and footage were shared with LatestSightings.com.
“We had seen lions throughout our day and were now heading towards Crocodile Bridge Restcamp. Using the main tar road, we knew there was always a chance of seeing something special, but little did we know how special it would turn out. In the road ahead lay a male lion, and we were excited, cameras out, ready to go!”
“As we got a little closer, it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary male lion. It was the Lubyelubye male, the oldest living male lion in the whole of the Kruger National Park. He looked in pretty bad shape but still had enough strength to lift his head and give us a glance.”
“After sitting and watching him for a few minutes, we continued on our way and decided we would return later that evening in hope of seeing him move. After some time, when we arrived at the location where he was, we found him lying in exactly the same manner. Clearly tired and too weak to move from his old age.”
Male lions in the wild are known for their powerful presence. They are the kings of their territories, leading prides and protecting their cubs. These lions, however, have a relatively short average lifespan of around 10 years in the wild. So, this male being at an estimated 15 years of age just goes to show how resilient he has been.
“He then began to stretch and yawn, the same things all lions do before getting active. We held our breath in anticipation, and lo and behold, he stood. His hip bones were clearly sticking out, and his rib cage was showing. The hunger was clear, and it seemed as if he had an injury as well.”
“He proceeded to cross the road and walk with a slow but somewhat strong step. It was clear that there were no injuries, but rather just signs and effects of old age. A true warrior and living legend. We just embraced the moment and felt extremely honored to be in the presence of such a king.”
This lion, having outlived all of his contemporaries, is now believed to hold the noble title of the oldest lion in Kruger Kruger National Park!