I always believed that male lions were as close to immortal as possible. Sleeping by day and feeding by night, their dark-maned figures patrolling the rugged bushveld and their proud shadows echoing through the night. I placed them on a pedestal as ‘The King of the Jungle’ and the animal I had chosen to come back reincarnated as. Although I knew that each one eventually died, I always imagined their end as the result of a fierce and proud battle for territory or females. A quick and noble death rather than the slow demise of condition and deterioration of self…how wrong I was.
Londolozi has taught me many things; one of which is that it is not easy getting to the top. What’s more, once you are up there everyone wants to bring you down. It is one male lion that has taught me this. For the last year he has moved under the radar, keeping his distance from the large prides and fleeing at the scent or sound of the fitter, healthier and younger collations of Mapogo or Majingilane. We see him very seldom yet we know he is around. The odd lonely track, the scavenged remains of an impala. He is a nomad, a male who has no territory, no brothers to lean on and no females to help him hunt. He is alone!
We know very little about this male. We do not know where he came from or how old he is. We don’t even have a name for him. All I know is that he is special to me and that when on the very rare occasion I do get the privilege to see him it is always a sad and happy moment. I am happy to see that the rogue is still alive, but sad to see how he slowly is withering away. I am sad to see that kings do die slowly. I am sad to see that kings do die alone.
Purely for interest sake I decided to take photos of this male to keep a record of change…to show myself and others how brutal life out in the bush can be. Last week this male lion was discovered along and in a crumpled heap. This King has now died…
Written and Photographed by: Adam Bannister
Filed under Wildlife
RIP Golf Course Male – you were amazing to follow.
Not all that old in actual age (7-8 yrs) but looked very weathered due to your disabilities and deconditioning over time. You will be missed 🙁
Thank you Adam for taking these photos and the write up of what you grew to know about him.
Thank you for sharing this. He was a proud male and the bush will miss him.
Oh, that’s bad, Adam. He was a fighter .. trying to survive, but unfortunately …” 🙁
So sad to see such a magnificent creature looking worn out and weak. Great write up and foresight to take these pictures Adam, well done and thanks for your contribution.
Thank you for sharing. The circle of life continues though so sad to see such a beautiful creature leave us. May God continue to bless you for the work you do.
When I was privileged enough to meet this young man and his brother in 2008, he was just coming into his prime and had what seemed like a good future ahead of him. Little did I know that this is how my beautiful Golf Course male would end his days. RIP beautiful boy…you are now free from the ravages of TB to roam once more with your brother!
He had many fans rooting for him all along, RIP beautiful proud boy! we will never forget you..
Thank you for sharing this sad news. Golf Course was an inspiration and will be missed.
as the tears flow for this wonderful lion we look back on his life and the circle is going on I wish he would have gone quicker I hate to see such a beauty suffer as he did RIP our Golf Course lion
Jeez Adam very powerful images really hits home when you see it like this.
So beautiful yet so very sad 🙁 Thanks for honoring him.
Farewell to the King, may you rule where you have gone…
Adam, I think this is a Golf Course Male . Or am I wrong?
Nkorho 27.9.2010 – Injured Male lion + two lioness
Thanks you for your words and photos Adam. I wonder how it is for a lion who has lived as a nomad, it seems so sad to us. I wish death had been quicker for him……
That’s not Golf Course Male.
Weather that is GC Male or not is a a sad end to a noble beast..
I love them all and it is hard to watch them become old beofre their time.. Nature is not kind to the weak and disabled. But they live on in their progeny! Long Live The King!
awww i am soo saddened by this yes its a real tough place to survive out there nature took its course and now our king has gone to his home in heaven he will be the star u see in the night skies over africa bright and bold
rest in peace my beautiful Kimg
Aww this is so sad.What a lovely boy he used to be. At least now he is out of pain.
So very heartbreaking to see this magnificent creature wither away. Thank you for the pictures.
Thank you Adam ,
I did not know this great fella… but have heard of him often in Wildearth.tv. To see such a king waste away like that is so very sad.
I know he was well loved by all who knew him.. Its so amazing what
a photograph over just a period of a few months can bring to us,
what those shots can share ,, and how many they can be shared with .
Rest in peace Golf Course Male .. and romp forever in the great adventure of the wildlife of heaven.
Im glad to see you are all enjoying the post. It’s amazing how hard hitting the photos actually are! As for whether it is the Golf Course Male or not, I do not know! What I do know is that he was a remarkable lion who died, judging by all the responses, with a lot of followers and with much love.
Yes it is sad , But it is part of life as we must pass on. It is a circle of life , At least now in my belief he is with so many others that have past on like Kinky Tale and etc, At least he suffers no longer. The only thing I would like to say he still should be given a name ..
Such a moving story, especially with the photos… You never picture them like that. Love your work Adam!
I was just wondering if someone could at least give this lion
a name , Because he was here on our earth…Like we name other
lions … give him some dignity..
Hi Jason, many people seem to think it is the Golf Course Male, however there are others you are certain it is not. I am not entirely sure, perhaps you have a suggestion for his name?
Adam, do you know the date this poor fella died? There is still a lot of confusion as to whether this lion is the one seen at Djuma on November 10th, being called the 2+1 male, and it would help to know the date of death of this lion for the record.
No words, but plenty of tears. RIP mighty warrior.
Im not sure why no one has cottoned on about the bad eye. This lion for over the last year and a half has had one eye notably bigger than the other (see the initial pic in blog)…surely the guys from the North East can just see if their lion has the eye thing going for him as well?
Sad, but beautiful piece. RIP to the King.
The lion seen on WildEarth and the video above @ Nkorho was from Two Plus One Pride, limping on a back leg. The Golf Course Male, pictured above limped on his front leg. To date, there has been no word on whether the Two Plus One Male is still surviving.
Its very sad to see such a magnificent animal die.
Heart breaking indeed.
Oh that is just so sad, definitely not the way a King should die. Thanks Adam for that story of this once majestic King of the Bushveld :'(
What a sad story but it does happen.He was lucky enough in his last days he was not found by other male lions or hyenas in his weak state and ripped apart!I wonder who he is and if he had any cubs.
is this article written by Rich Laburn or Adam Bannister?All in all it was very thoughtful of taking his pictures through various stages of his life in a few months until he had totally wasted away for readers to get the picture.