Wildlife officers in Tanzania searching for the body of a lion known as the king of the Serengeti suspect he may have been eaten by hyenas.
Bob Junior, also known as Snyggve, was killed by younger rivals on Saturday – and national park officers had wanted to preserve his body.
He was much-loved by tour operators and visitors to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, who praised his photogenic looks.
Thought to be around 10 years old, he had been named after his father Bob Marley.
Tanzania Conservation Commissioner William Mwakilema said officers had found the site of the fight but no body.
Trackers were now trying to find the lion’s younger brother Joel, with whom he had ruled.
“If Joel is found dead, we will collect his remains and we have a view of preparing, stuffing, and mounting its skins, a process commonly referred to as taxidermy,” he told the BBC.
“We would have wished to do the same with Bob Junior, but we weren’t so lucky because we couldn’t locate its remains and probably got eaten up by hyenas.”
The commissioner said the good-looking siblings were first spotted together in 2010 – and had gone on to dominate a pride of 22 lionesses.
“The killing comes because of a bid to avoid inbreeding within the same pride, which is a common occurrence in the ecological world,” he said.
Serengeti conservation officer Fredy Shirima previously told the BBC that younger rivals were believed to have killed Bob Junior.
Conservation staff had hoped to arrange a special burial for the famous lion.
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