These heartbreaking images show the final days of a lion who was once king of his land.
The animal , known as Skybed Scar, was frail, gaunt and died shortly after these photos were taken.
The lion is reported to have been kicked out of his pride and then grown thin without the protection and food that his family used to provide.
Skybed Scar was well known in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
The images were captured by Larry Anthony Pannell, 64 – a photographer and acupuncturist.
Larry, from California, US, said: “I knew that I was witnessing something very special… nature, the real nature both life and death.
“Life can be very cruel and to be honest during my career I have seen people lose everything in landslides, earthquakes and fires. I have photographed automobile accidents with grave injuries.
“I do not think any photograph or photo sequence affected me as much as witnessing the death of the lion.
“I sat with him only feet away, locking eyes and starting at one another as I watched for an hour as the life left his body. I wanted him to know he would not die alone.
“Not wanting to sound crass I remember when my grandmother was in the hospital and I visited her for the last time the night she passed.
“We did not say a word, both of us just knew this was the end and we just stared at each other locking eyes.
“This is the first time since then that I felt the same feeling – connecting with another being on a spiritual level, just knowing."
A further image of Skybed Scar was taken but Mirror Online has decided not to publish it.
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