A somber mood gripped staff at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) famously known as Entebbe Zoo after Uganda’s oldest lion “Kibonge” passed away. Kibonge succumbed to Kidney failure Friday evening after all his body organs shut down because of old age.

As per the UWEC, Public Relations Officer Belinda Atim said this lion had lived for 18 years, and yet the life span for the lions is 10-14 years. “The moment he turned 14 years we started to notice a degenerated condition in him and at the back of our minds, we were waiting for this to happen” Belinda revealed.

She included that the vet doctor had been sustaining Kibonge through fluids but today all his body organs shut down.

Kibonge was born in 1996 and was found abandoned in Nairobi National Park was taken to an orphanage and was later transferred to Uganda in 1999 after Uganda Wildlife Education Centre signed a partnership with Kenya Wildlife Authority.

Kibonge-oldest-lionKibonge who had inhabited Uganda Wildlife Education Centre for 15 years leaves behind two wives and two girls. He will be buried on Tuesday at 11 am at the Center according to the center’s publicist Belinda the bones, skins, and tail will be conserved for educational purposes.

“When I heard him breathe his last I looked at him and said that this gentleman wasn’t breathing anymore. It’s truly painful on the grounds that we have been there ever since he was brought in” Jennifer Nandutu an animal caretaker told the media as she attempted to hold back her tears.

“He was truly a good father, at the time of feeding he first left his wives and girls to eat fast before he had his share which is entirely different from the wild where males are the first to feed,” a sad Nandutu told the media.

The UWEC hopes to get a lion from either South Africa or the United Kingdom.

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