I recently learned some tragic and disturbing news, and further reading today has confirmed it is true.
Ximpoko, a very large male lion who inhabited the Timbavati region of Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, was killed by trophy hunters in July of 2013.
Ximpoko was one of the first male lions we ever encountered in the wild. He was a magnificent lion, and was considered to be the largest in the Timbavati.
Ximpoko and another large male lion (possibly Mabande at the time), had formed a coalition, and they roamed the region as nomadic males. They were not siblings, and were not even from the same pride.
We spent time with Ximpoko and his companion in their natural habitat on Saturday, 6th October, 2012.
Here is an image I captured of Ximpoko, showing him in life:
The King’s Face
The Timbavati, South Africa, and indeed the world, is a lesser place due to the horrible and unnecessary loss of Ximpoko.
Some creature I struggle to regard as human sought entertainment at the expense of the life of an amazing lion, and an endangered species.
Ximpoko deserves to be running around the African savannah, continuing his lineage, not hung on someone’s wall as a decoration.
This was not nature’s way.
I hope that when Ximpoko‘s killer meets his maker, he is shown no mercy.