It’s with a heavy heart that we share this news. Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia said their final roar to their iconic and legendary lioness.
She was thought to be at the ripe old age of 17 to 18 years old, and as expected, with a great age, comes a significant life story.
"A lonely roar echoes across the Liuwa Plain. There is no answer, there hasn't been for years. She has no pride, no support - she alone must safeguard her own survival. Her name was Lady Liuwa, and she was the Last Lioness."
Lady Liuwa's was introduced to the world back in the late 1990’s. Strong, courageous and independent, she roamed the grassy fields of Liuwa Plain in Zambia’s far west in solitude after illegal hunting wiped out all lions.
The king of the jungle is considered as social butterflies, by living in a pride of between 5 and 25 while the females hunt in packs.
Being the tough and free-spirited female that she was, Lady survived for almost a decade alone, and in the absence of other lions, she did an extraordinary thing.
Loneliness didn't get this girl down. Instead, she turned to humans for companionship, as she was often seen sleeping only meters from the tents at camp.
After several reintroductions by African Parks, Lady Liuwa was reunited with her kind. While she was unable to have cubs of her own, she bonded with Sepo, another young introduced lioness, and became the matriarch of a growing pride.
Before the sadness of losing Lady Liuwa could even begin to settle, Liuwa Plain also lost Sepo, Lady’s protégé and second in command.
As one of the first females translocated to Liuwa Plain, Sepo was named ‘hope’ in the local Lozi language. She lived up to that name, producing two beautiful litters of cubs.
Unfortunately, in her unending dedication to her cubs, Sepo lost her life in a final battle to protect them. But her efforts were not in vain, the two male cubs survived and are now under the watchful care of their sisters. 'Hope’ may be gone, but it's not lost.
Lady and Sepo were fighters, survivors and symbols of bravery and hope. Rest easy little lions and watch over all in Liuwa Plain. You will be missed.