Today, on World Lion Day, we are honoring a legend among lions. Loonkito is 16 and a half years old – a record for the Amboseli ecosystem and one of the oldest known African lions in the wild. Check out his story below in a new video by our Lion Monitoring Manager Philip Briggs.
But Loonkito isn’t the only old-timer in our area. Asama, one of the females we have followed since we began our monitoring efforts, is also more than 16 years old. The most exciting thing about these record-breaking lions is that their longevity illustrates a larger trend; since we began our work in the Amboseli ecosystem in 2004, we have observed more and more lions surviving past the age of 10 (which is essentially old age for lions!). Lion killing in the area has also decreased over the same time period, suggesting that our efforts to mitigate conflict and increase communities’ tolerance of lions is helping lions live longer lives. And when lions live longer lives, they give birth to and raise more offspring, which means a larger, healthier population.
Our work to conserve lions and preserve cultures has helped build one of the few growing populations of lions in Africa, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without your support. To celebrate World Lion Day and the legacies of these incredible lions, please consider supporting Lion Guardians. You can get started at this link.
As always, thank you for your support, and happy World Lion Day!