Mombasa,KENYA:An iconic lion christened ‘lipstick’ owing to a lipstick like mark on his chin has been found dead at the Masaai Mara national reserve.
The lion was found dead by park rangers on Saturday months after sustaining an injury.
According to conservationist Peter Retting, Lipstick was aged 13 at the time of his death and his health had deteroriated significantly since he sustained the injury.
“Lipstick had lost condition over the last months following an injury he sustained beginning of February on his right front leg, probably sustained during a fight with other Male Lions or during a hunt of large prey. While there was no visible wound he limped around badly … and never recovered.” Peter Retting wrote.
The conservationist further said that the injury made it difficult for him to walk and hunt and most of the time he would feed on leftovers.
Lipstick who was first spotted in 2007 when he was two years old was the second last remaining male lion of his pride, the 4km boys ,who are named after an area the lions were frequently found roaming in the Mara triangle.
Conservationists have poured their tributes to the lion.
In a Facebook page ‘Lipstick and Blackie the 4 km boys’ which has been giving updates about the deceased lion and his partner Blackie, the conservationists termed him a strong lion who wrote his own unique story in the Mara.
Mr Retting in a tribute dedicated to the deceased said the lion had sired several cubs with female members of the Mugoro pride , Rekero breakaway pride, Topi plains pride and Paradise prides in the Northern part of the Mara.
“Over the last almost 3 years Lipstick & Blackie were the successful Pride Males of the Topi Plains Pride. They sired many cubs and 14 youngsters are still alive and well, with 4 of them already being independent (Mandevu, Ashalina and the 2 Mdomo Boys).” Retting wrote.
In 2015,3 lions of the Marsh pride were found dead after eating a cow that was grazing inside the reserve in a suspected poisoning incident .