'Magnificent' nomad lion passes away in Maasai Mara

A fatal altercation led to his untimely death on 24 July.

In Summary

• Distressing reports of a severely injured lion were initially made by the Mara North Conservancy (MNC).

• Despite prompt assistance, Jesse who was 12 years old, was unable to survive the attack and succumbed to his injuries.

Image: Miranda Tillinghast/BBC

Kenyans are mourning the death of an iconic nomad lion, Jesse, who died after a territorial fight with a rival pride in the Maasai Mara.

"What a magnificent lion he was," said the Mara Predator Conservation Programme (MCPC) in a tribute on Facebook.

Distressing reports of a severely injured lion were initially made by the Mara North Conservancy (MNC). Despite prompt assistance, Jesse who was 12 years old, was unable to survive the attack and succumbed to his injuries.

Born within MNC in early 2011, Jesse and his brother Frank were initially part of the Cheli pride. In 2014, the brothers broke away from the pride and took leadership of the Offbeat pride.

During their time as pride leaders, Jesse and Frank had several offspring. While their sons have either died or gone missing, their daughters are said to be "successfully continuing the Offbeat pride."

However, in 2016, Frank went missing and Jesse embarked on a more nomadic and isolated life although he was still spotted in various conservancies from time to time.

Jesse returned to MNC in early 2023, however the territory he had once ruled with his brother had new leaders - the Engoyanai males.

A fatal altercation with them led to his untimely death on 24 July.

The average lifespan of a lion is about 13 years in the wild, although they can live much longer in captivity.

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