Real Life Lion 'King of the Serengeti' Dies in Africa

King Snyggve aka Bob Jr and his brother
King Snyggve aka Bob Jr and his brother

Getty King Snyggve aka Bob Jr. (left) and his brother.

The real-life lion king of the Serengeti has died in Africa.

Locals and tour operators at the national park paid tribute to Snyggve, also known as Bob Jr., online following the animal's death at the hands of its rivals on Saturday.

"They wanted to overthrow Bob Jr.," Fredy Shirima, a Serengeti conservation officer told the BBC about the lion's death. "These incidents normally happen when the head of a pride becomes old or sometimes when the other male lions are not happy with his control over a large territory," he added of the younger rivals, noting there are roughly 3,000 lions living in the Serengeti in northern Tanzania.

"It is assumed his brother also met the same fate, but we are trying to confirm this," Shirima added, explaining that they believe Bob Jnr.'s brother Tryggve (aka Marley) died in a separate attack on the same day after they both "ruled for seven years."

Serengeti National Park did not immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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King Snyggve aka Bob Jr and his brother
King Snyggve aka Bob Jr and his brother

Getty King Snyggve aka Bob Jr. (left) and his brother.

The BBC reported that the lion's name, Bob Jr., comes from his father, who was named "Bob Marley," after the late reggae legend.

Bob Jr., who was believed to be around 10 years old, reportedly did not put up a fight.

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Travel company Asilia Africa also posted a tribute to the "legendary" lion on Tuesday.

"Many have travelled long distances to catch a glimpse of the legendary lion with a distinctive and luxuriant black mane - King of the Serengeti (Snyggve) Bob Jr.," the safari company wrote.

It added that he was "one of Africa's most iconic lions" and an "honorary member of the Asilia family."

"Bob Jr. and his equally dominant coalition partner, (Tryggve) Marley, reigned over the eastern plains for many years, sharing an incredible journey of pride takeovers and losses," the post continued.

Comments flooded in from many admirers of the lion king — including many who had experienced close-up encounters with the beloved lions.

"Some nice memories of these guys: First visit July 2016 in the old camp. Bob Jr/Snyggve had visited the dining tent that same day before we arrived! And then he and Marley/Tryggve were sleeping right outside my shower when we arrived!" one person wrote.

"It's heartbreaking," added wildlife photographer Stephen Bonfoco. "I have seen Snyggve for several years. I have lost a friend."

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"I hoped to see them again this year. But this is the harsh law of the savannah. I don't know if I could have resisted seeing his death. RIP my friend ❤️🌈."

Craig Packer, director of the lion research center at the University of Minnesota, told The Washington Post that Bob Jr. "was just always an exceptionally handsome animal."

"This male lived in an area where he was very visible and would just knock your socks off because he was so good-looking," Packer continued from the neighboring Maasai Mara reserve. "He had such a luxurious and impressive mane that people would immediately react to that, and all he had to do was sit up."