“Olorpapit”, the name given to the oldest lion in Kenya’s iconic Maasai Mara Game Reserve is dead after 16 years in this vast savannah.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve Chief Warden Mr James Sindiyo said the lion died of old age.
Mr Sindiyo said that Olorpapit has been weak for the past several years but his health deteriorated after a brutal attack a few weeks ago by younger lions who were marking their territory.
Olorpapit was a major tourists attraction together with Orbanoti – brother – who they spent a lot of time within the reserve for the last 16 years.
“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 on Wednesday evening at Olare Motorogi Conservancy. It was a celebrity lion that was a darling to tourists,” said Mr Sindiyo according to the Standard.
The Chief Park Warden said the Olorpapit was only two years older than Orbanoti. The two lions have had a strong presence in Enkuiyani, Oldikdiki, Monika and Hamercop pride where their lineage is spread.
Lucy Johnson of the ‘Big Cats of Masai Mara’ was shocked to learn of Olorpapit’s death. She had moments with the lion when shooting for the project.
“He passed away 300meters from rangers’ post, I reckon because he felt safe here, and in his last days, he was accompanied by his brother Olbarnoti,” Ms Johnson post on Facebook read in part.
With 16 years in the jungle, the dark-maned lion was blessed to have had a life in Kenya’s most popular game reserve that is phenomenal across the world.
In other news, one person died after a Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) helicopter crashed at Orly Airpark.
KWS Corporate Communicated manager Paul Jinaro confirmed that the deceased was a trainee pilot.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) issued a statement saying: “Today KWS is sad to confirm we, unfortunately, suffered an aircraft accident at 07.38a m that resulted in one fatality and the loss of the aircraft. The accident involved an AutoGyro aircraft model MTOsport2010 registered 5Y-KWV.”