FRIDAY March 17, 2023
By Patty Magubira
The Tranquility News Reporter, Tanzania
Travel and Tourism fraternity across the world is in a somber mood following the murder of one of the Serengeti kings dubbed Bob Junior.
Between three and five lions attacked their fellow Bob Jnr to death at Namiri area in eastern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, on Saturday March 11, 2023, in a grisly fight for mating right.
Tanzania national Park (TANAPA) Conservation Commissioner William Mwakilema recently confirmed the murder of Bob Jnr whose report went viral globally through social media.
Mr Mwakilema calmed down Bob Jnr’s enthusiasts, saying the incident was ecologically normal amongst creatures in the wilderness.
“Probably Bob Jnr and its sibling Joel had also killed others in a similar fight to claim leadership of their group,” said Mr Mwakilema, adding that Bob Jnr and its sibling Joel had quelled several attempts to oust them from the group.
Mr Mwakilema said besides the death of Bob Jnr, the loss of its remains was a blow to the state-owned conservation agency, as it missed the opportunity for preparing, stuffing and mounting the skin of the legend into a lifelike form for the sake of its fans.
“Bob Jnr’s body has been eaten by other carnivorous mammals, probably hyenas,” said the TANAPA Conservation Commissioner, explaining that Joel, the Bob Jnr’s sibling, which escaped during the fight, was still at large.
Researchers from the conservation agency along with their Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) counterparts have mounted a search for Joel since.
Bob Jnr and Joel’s appearances and gigantism made them popular to tour operators, local and foreign visitors to Serengeti, researchers and the entire travel and tourism fraternity.
They were both roughly estimated to be born in 2010. Cladding long black mane prompted their fans to liken them with the Jamaican reggae legend, the late Robert Nester Marley, alias Bob Marley, who also used to put on long dreadlocks.
Data by TAWIRI show the number of lions within Serengeti ecosystem alone stands at between 3,000 and 3,500, with Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem situated in the Tanzania’s virgin southern tourism circuit leading in the population of lions.
Average life span of a large cat with muscular, broad-chested body; short, rounded head, round ears; and a hairy tuft at the end of the tail is estimated to be 15 yearsΩ