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Breaking news: R.I.P Tullamore, the last lion of the 5 Musketeers

Tullamore, the last of the famous ‘5 musketeers’ desert lions of northern Namibia has been killed in the Okongue area, along with a lioness and two cubs, in the ongoing battle between rural cattle farmers and free-roaming lions. The lions were poisoned. Tullamore was the last surviving member of a group of 5 desert lions made famous by the movie ‘The Vanishing Kings’

(XPL 93) or “Tullamore”, in better times. © Ingrid Mandt

Since the movie was made Tullamore’s 4 musketeer comrades were all killed by farmers – three were poisoned and one was shot in 2016. Tullamore was then moved to the Okongue area for his own safety. He then became the dominant male of a new pride, some of whom were killed with him in this latest incident. Both Tullamore and the lioness carried collars, which were allegedly burned after the killings. The killings may have happened a while ago, as Tullamore was reported missing by researcher Flip Stander in early April. 

The above information was translated from this Afrikaans post in the Republikein.

Records going as far back as 1934 reflect lions inhabiting the northern Namib desert along the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. It was then observed that desert lions were common in the coastal mountains and riverbeds between the lower Kuiseb River and the Kunene River. It was believed that they were plentiful in the Kaokoveld and along the Kunene valley. The Skeleton Coast National Park was proclaimed in 1967 and, since then, Namibian desert lions have been put on the map as an iconic species of this unique desert region.

Today the population of an estimated 150 lions is under pressure from human influence, with human-lion conflict the primary threat.

For more information about Namibia’s desert lions, and to view a gallery of photos, click here.

The ‘5 Musketeers’, before all 5 were killed in human-lion conflict © Republikein

Africa Geographic Editorial

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  • rdsat

    Disgusting. It’s a real shame that these lion numbers have been reduced so drastically

  • Luis Septien

    Brainless and assasins farmers

    • Leon

      where are you from Luis?…. where does your food come from?

      • JMantikita

        Hi! My food comes from Cows… not Lions.. now if you would justify Cows are killed because people like eat Cows.. they are Cows… not Lions..

        If you would say Cows are animals too.. we’ll people are Animals too..

        So I have an idea… why not kill the Trophy Hunters first.. then feed their meat to the Lions.. then consumers can now eat cows.. Then Lions can eat Poachers and Trophy Hunter..

        That solved the problems… too much people.. let’s reduce it by feeding the Trophy Hunters first.. then the Poachers.. that way Lions would stay away from land grabbing farmers.

  • StephenR

    Namibia’s Nature Conservation must be happy to finally get some rest now that they’ll have no more pesky lions & bothersome tourists disturbing their cattle & elephants ‘stealing’ their mielies.

  • Raymond Jennen

    Unbelievable, again a sad story

  • Eugene Kayat

    Why are Companies like this operating in Namibia http://huntingnamibiaruark.com/about-us/

    • Leon

      Because hunting companies are the biggest conservationists. Ever been to Namibia? I thought so…

      • Eugene Kayat

        Yes. I have

        • Leon

          Good, then you’ll know the truth and never ask these stupid questions again.

          • Eugene Kayat

            How diplomatic. Obviously you are uneducated. Nobody asked you for your opinion.

      • Eugene Kayat

        Dear Sir / Madam

        Why do we have to put up with undiplomatic and classless comments when just asking a question ?
        I have noticed this “Leon” character putting on a lot of undiplomatic comments, and attacking the person rather than the question.
        Absolutely disgusting.



        Editor Lebanese SA

        Sent from TypeApp ​

      • Statistic show they are not. Unless they are auctioning off an Elephant of which the money goes to nefarious pockets. But it has been proven that eco tourism makes far more money than the little hunting pods who sit on the back of a ute and shoot their prey. One of the reasons I have no sympathy with hunters who get nailed by wildlife. Its their just deserts….

    • bruceleejohnson

      I have not visited Namibia and I only know what I read here. I am uneducated except for the post. True or false I must interpret what I read. I have a cousin who hunts every area he can buy a license. I think he is wrong about the conservationist in hunting groups. Those animals are part of the world population and no one has the authority to issue a license to kill it. I love it when an elephant decides to stop a hunter or guide into the ground.

  • OWL


  • Rita Claessens

    Set up programs to educate the locals, to raise awareness, and to let them cooperate in protection of both cattle AND LIONS, with rewards! The killing will go on, as long as the villagers, don’t recognise the importance of wildlife for their country!

  • Denine Mishoe

    Reduce your damn population – THAT IS HOW YOU CONTROL THE HUMAN/ANIMAL CONFLICT! I’m so sick and tired of reading this bullshit!! HUMANS ARE THE INTRUDERS!!! They should be put down, NOT THE LIONS/ANIMALS!! If people of your country truly cared, you do something about all these poachers & murderers of wildlife… but you don’t and that’s why nothing is done! I hope every single person is struck down by God and rots in the bottom pits of hell in that cursed country!

  • Mike D

    This is incredibly sad. He was the last beacon of hope for these last few remiaining desert lions. There is so much land it that area. The government needs to engage and threaten fines and imprisonment to show they are serious about the indiscrimate killing of these last lions. The 5 musketeers held the key to the future of the desert lions. It is nothing short of completely pathetic that the cattle herders must resort to killing these lions which are tettering on the verge of extinction. The vanishing kings have now all vanished in spite of the worlds knowledge of their amazing story and the equally amazing man that had devoted his life to protecting them.

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