Africa's Oldest Lion-Kibonge Breathes his Last in Entebbe Top story

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Atim said the lion could have succumbed to old age related disorders. She says a necropsy will be performed and results will be available for public knowledge. Prior to its death, the lion had multiple wounds, could not stand on its own, and breathed with difficulty.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre-UWEC is mourning the death of Kibonge, the oldest Lion in Africa that that died today in Entebbe.

"We are sad to announce that our famous Kibonge, the Lion, age 18 has died, Friday, November 28," reads a statement by UWEC Public relations officer Belinda Atim.

Atim said the lion could have succumbed to old age related disorders.  She says a necropsy will be performed and results will be available for public knowledge. Prior to its death, the lion had multiple wounds, could not stand on its own, and breathed with difficulty.

Brought to the centre in 1992 from Kenya, the lion spent its entire life at the zoo, siring two female off-springs. For the years, it has been providing protection and leadership to the pride. Kibonge had defied what his colleagues failed to do, a source of pride he was for the conservationists.

Jenifer Nandutu, an animal keeper at the zoo says the lion has been her great source of inspiration. She says Kibonge had shown resilience and great strength even at the times when it fell sick. On days when he was still healthy, the male would be seen running after the hyena which is separated by a fence.

Replacement arrangements are being made to bring a male lion to replace Kibonge from South Africa. James Musinguzi, the executive director of the center says most of the paper work for the transportation of the lion and a cheetah is almost complete.

The center has five lions in the zoo. The four are females and Kibonge has been the only male since Salama died several years ago.

Lions live for 10 - 14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 20 years.

However, even in the zoo, most of them die before reaching 16 years of age.  In the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity.

Uganda Wildlife Education Center is preparing a befitting send off for the lion at the facility.