The Lion Guardians team was out on Eselenkei Group Ranch looking for the Tara pride when we received information that the wandering group of 4 male lions that we had been monitoring for the last week had visited several bomas the previous night and left death and destruction in their wake. They had killed 5 donkeys, and critically injured 2 and killed (but left intact) 4 goats that had got lost in the bush. What a disaster! Here is one of the young male lions that had carried out the attacks.
We mobilized several Lion Guardians and together with some game scouts from nearby Amboseli Porini camp (Selenkay Conservancy), they were thankfully able to prevent the agitated community members from any revengeful attacks against the lions. After successfully calming the community, the Lion Guardians team proceeded to get things ready for a potential collaring later in the evening, and started the process by doing a ‘call-in’ near to the place where the attacks had happened. This involves playing the sounds of lions roaring, or other noises that might attract lions, such as a dying prey, through loud speakers. Out of the darkness came the lions. They strolled past the car and disappeared again; this marked the start of a long game of ‘hide and seek’!
After a search that lasted more than 3 hours, one of the lions was finally collared, and the Lion Guardians that were present named the male lion ‘Sikiria’, a Maasai name meaning ‘He of the donkey’. This is the first male to be collared on Eselenkei Group Ranch. Young, big and very strong, Sikiria comes from a group of 4 lions that seem to be moving far and wide searching for everything from prey and territory to females. Here I am with Sikiria, at his collaring.
Now that the Lion Guardians can keep close eye on their locations, we hope that they will be able to prevent any more disasters from happening, by alerting community members of their whereabouts as a way of preventing human-wildlife conflicts. We will keep you posted on the activities of these rambunctious male lions!