Written by By Steve McAnon, CNN

The grave of Cecil the lion was the site of a number of significant moments in the history of big cats in southern Africa.

A courageous lioness, Bose was also near the death line when Cecil was killed.

Bose had been a runner and assisted Cecil in killing the tracking cat last year.

Conservation nonprofit Panthera published a biography of Bose last week.

Bose was 10 years old when she was transported from her home in South Africa to Libya as a trophy and to spend the rest of her days guarding lions from poachers.

And what lions she was protecting.

Lions weren't just in danger, they were considered the fittest and most desirable lions.

This is why they went so far to protect their own.

All the trees were gone, their natural habitat had been cleared by tourism companies.

Not long after an elephant

The discovery of a hiking route had led Bose and Cecil from their African home to Libya in search of new land and bigger prey, and a new bigger prey in its place.

Lions were facing extinction in Bose's natural area, so she refused to come back home.

At a certain point, a lion in their own country attacked her.

"She has never fought another lion on a mission," writes Panthera's Bibi Miller.

"A long-haired female believed to be aged between 10 and 15, she had been part of the campaign to recover the pride. A few weeks ago, a lioness sent by her handlers -- indeed to protect her -- attacked Bose and Cecil, injuring them both, and soon after took up residence in their kill."

Bose would have died of her injuries had it not been for one lucky bystander.

A hunter had come across Bose's cubs and observed them being fed by the injured lion.

"She then turned to me and said, 'Please save my cubs. I want to be with them but I'm in Libya and they can't come,'" Bibi writes.