Nairobi News

GeneralHustleMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

KWS refutes claims that famous Maasai Mara lion, Olobor, is dead

By Hilary Kimuyu February 13th, 2024 3 min read

On Monday, February 12, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) issued a statement refuting claims suggesting that Olobor, a renowned lion in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, had been killed by pastoralists.

The service dismissed the false reports regarding Olobor, who is a member of the ‘Black Rock Pride’.

“Reference to various social media messages of the alleged killing of Olobor, a famous lion from the ‘Black Rock Pride’ in Maasai Mara National Reserve by pastoralists. KWS Intelligence and Investigation teams responded by visiting the area but neither evidence nor information was gathered to prove the allegations,” said a statement from the KWS communications desk.

“KWS Intelligence and Investigation responded by visiting the area but no evidence or information was gathered to substantiate the allegations.”

KWS added that it has deployed ‘Mara Predators’ research team whose work is monitoring lions and tasked Maasai Mara’s top management to look for Olobor.

“We reassure the public that we will provide an accurate account of Olobor when the facts are established and proven,” the statement added.

Also read: Reticulated giraffe reintroduced to Mount Kenya after 40 years of local extinction

Reports of his alleged death started circulating online early last week.

According to the Facebook page, Lion Sightings, Olobor could have been killed as a result of human-animal conflict in the notorious Maji ya Fisi area towards the end of January 2024.

“With tremendous sadness, we have to speak up about the “rumours” we have heard during the past few days. Now it seems the famous Black Rock boy and one of the best fighters in Mara, Olobor, is no longer with us. Without photos as evidence the information we got to know is he was another victim of human-wildlife conflicts at the notorious Maji ya Fisi area,” the Facebook page posted on February 9, 2024,” it read in part.

A previous post on Wednesday, February 7, expressed concern about the King lion’s whereabouts with the author saying, “I am getting worried about Olobor, he has not been seen…”

“Today, our hearts grieve, for Olobor’s roar has been silenced not by the law of nature, but by the hands of cowardice,” one of the social media posts said in part.

“Speared to death by cattle herders. He was the leader of the powerful Black Rock Coalition,” another amongst dozens of condolence posts read.

Several social media users have aired the same, claiming that the famous lion has not been seen with his “buddies” in recent weeks.

In 2022, Olobor and his brother Olpadan mauled another iconic lion, nicknamed King Olope, to death in a pride territorial fight.

During the fierce fight that led to his death, Olope is said to have fought hard singlehandedly, and Olpadan was left with life-threatening injuries.

In the same year, he was filmed fighting over 20 hyenas which had attacked him at the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Also read: Snail meat: A unique culinary experience taking root in Kenya

In the video posted on YouTube, although outnumbered by the clan of hyenas, Olobor showed the characteristics of a fearless male lion by fighting back.

The hyena clan was trying to defend its territory from the fearless male lion but instead, they lost a clan member trying to defend their territory in vain.

According to the National Geographic (NatGeo) website, lions mark their territories with urine and patrol their territories to ward off intruders.

Lion prides are made up of anywhere from two to 40 animals, with three to four males dominating a single pride.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists lions as an endangered species, estimating that there were less than 25,000 remaining in Africa.