Tributes have been pouring in worldwide for ‘Africa’s most photogenic lion’ who was killed in a rival war on Saturday, 11 March.
Bob Jnr or Snyggve is also known as the ‘Serengeti King’ because of his glossy golden-black mane and striking eyes. He was named after his father Bob Marley, who got his name from tour guides ‘after famed Jamaican singer because of lustrous, distinctive hair,’ the Washington Post reported.
A professor and director of the lion research centre in the Masai Mara, Craig Packer, said that ‘he was just always an exceptionally handsome animal. He had such a luxurious and impressive mane that people would immediately react to that, and all he would do was sit up.
Bob Jr ruled a pride of approximately 22 females in coalition with his brother, Tryggve for over 7 years.
It is reported that three younger rivals attacked and killed Bob Jnr during a territorial battle close to Namiri Plains. The younger lions may even have been related to the ‘Serengeti King.’
Fredy Shirima, the Serengeti conservation officer, told the BBC that the younger lions ‘wanted to overthrow Bob Jnr.
‘These incidents normally happen when the head of a pride becomes old or sometimes when the other male lions are not happy with his control over a large territory.’
Mr Shirima assumes that his brother met the same fate in a similar but separate attack. A team of trackers is currently looking for his body.
Wildlife officials planned to host a special burial for the king, but his body has not been found. Trackers searched the area where the fight took place, but believe that he may have been eaten by hyenas.
A professor of topical ecology, Rob Marchant said that this is ‘entirely normal and part of the cycle of life.
‘I am sure the genes of Bob Jr will continue to live on through the many offspring he has fathered over the years.’
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