Maasai Mara's Legendary Lion Dies

The lion, named Scarface, succumbed at 1 pm local time, ending his 13-year reign in the game reserve in Narok County.

Maasai Mara's Legendary Lion Dies

A lion touted as the oldest in the Maasai Mara in Kenya died on Friday, June 11.

The lion, named Scarface, succumbed at 1 pm local time, ending his 13-year reign in the game reserve in Narok County.

The Maasai Mara legend died of natural causes, his death witnessed by Mara Predator Conservation Programme who have been following him after he was reported struggling to survive.

He died peacefully, without any disturbance from hyenas and vehicles.

Legendary Maasai Mara lion Scarface. /FILE

He had been last spotted on Tuesday, June 8, far from his pride, on the bank of the Olare Orok River in the Kaboso in Mara tired guarding a dead Hippo.

Scarface was born in 2008 in Ol Kiombo pride and he along with his three brothers Hunter, Sikio, and Morani were fathered by three males Cheza,Junior and Sala who took over the Ol Kiombo Pride in 2007.

Scarface was famous among lion lovers and photographers. He earned his name in 2012 when he lost his right eyelid while battling for territory with his three brothers which they succeeded, as part of plans to expand their territories.

He was badly injured but conservancy vets managed to treat him and return him to normal life.

He has been featured in many documentaries among them a documentary made by British media house BBC on Marsh Pride which was featured in the exclusive show Big Cat Diary.

Scarface's death comes several months after Maasai Mara's most famous lion, Lolparpit (big hair), sent out his final roar on November 18, 2020 bringing an end to his 15-year-reign in the vast and iconic game reserve.

He died of natural causes with the body being discovered by a tour driver on the edges of Lolparpit's vast territory.

The 'King' was eulogised by several conservationists, "Who remembers Lolparpit, the king of Masai Mara and one of the oldest male lions in the Mara? He is no more. This mighty guy was named "Lolparpit" which means Big Hair.  We will surely miss his actions and shows," a group tweeted.
 
The legendary Lolparpit and his brother Olbarnoti were born into the Ridge Pride beginning of 2005 along with another male called Junior (from a different female). There were 2 other males born into this pride end of 2003 (Cheza) and mid 2004 (Sala). The latter also became famous due to the Big Cat Diary BBC Documentary.

Lolparpit. /FILE