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After the poisoning of Nosioki and her cub, there was a meeting yesterday in Matapato to discuss the incident. People were calm since the two suspects that had been arrested a few days prior were released on the eve of the meeting in a surprise move by KWS. Before the release the Group Ranch was furious, they didn’t know arrests were possible due to the fact that previously, 3 lions had been killed in this area with no arrests made. Therefore, they were very happy for the release.  The elders from the Group Ranch where the suspects come from begged for forgiveness of the conservationists present ( MPT, Big Life Foundation, Lion Guardians, and KWS) while vowing such an incident will never take place again. They decried the act saying it was cowardly and has no place in the Maasai tradition, saying instead ’when a brave Maasai is annoyed he uses his spear’.

Conflict-resolution meeting

Conflict-resolution meeting

During the meeting, the elders revealed that a few months ago unbeknownst to us, they decided to set aside Osewan (a thicket full of different wildlife species) as a conservancy with an elected committee in order to receive an income. They invited several conservation stakeholders present (those mentioned above) to work closely with them to help increase levels of tolerance towards wildlife and to develope this fledgling conservancy still in its nascent stage. They announced to all and sundry that they will curse anyone who will use poisoning within their territory and will hand him over to the authorities for possible prosecution. Two District Wardens present also decried the use of poison and lion killing in the area in general.

Cremation of Nosioki and her cub

Cremation of Nosioki and her cub

Leaders from both Olgulului Group Ranch and Mailua Group Ranch were present in the well attended meeting that recognized the critical role and vigilance by the Lion Guardians in the field. This was a very good meeting considering the usual tempers that flare wherever the agenda is livestock-lion related. We left the meeting with mixed feelings, worried with the precedent that will be set by the sudden release of suspects but buoyed by the glimmer of hope that a  conservancy will bring to the future of the area. Whether this will happen or not, only time will tell.

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  • Teresa
    Reply

    This is so sad. She did not even kill the sheep. I wish the people could realize how lucky they are to be able to live with lions. I am glad they are setting up a conservation area. They can make more income from tourist dollars than from livestock. But when the lions are gone there will be no more tourists. I know many people who will not go to Tanzania because they still allow hunting but go to Kenya instead. The person who did this should be prosecuted and made an example of, then perhaps the killing would stop.

  • sauwah
    Reply

    loosing Nosioki and her cubs were great tragedy especially the last cub is still on its own and most likely is dying from starvation ( if he had not been killed by hyenas or others already ). And as usual, hyenas get away with their murder and lions always are the victims who pay with their lives! You must tell the villagers that their livestock killers, the hyenas are still free and hungry!

    It is no surprise to us all that KWS released all the criminals as usual. Hopefully this time by just keeping these killers behind bar for couple days and this meeting would prevent further death of lions.

    Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    Dear Sauwah,
    Thank you for your kind words. Losing Nosioki and her cub is indeed a great tragedy and we are all very saddened by the loss. But hyenas are not to blame. Both lions and hyenas are only attempting to survive and feed their cubs and when they find livestock left in the bush, they take advantage of the easy prey. Many hyenas have been unjustly poisoned after feeding on poisoned carcasses that they did not kill. Hyenas are fascinating animals with complex, intricate lives and do not deserve to be poisoned anymore than Nosioki and her cub did.

    Thanks again for your support of the Lion Guardians.

  • Timi
    Reply

    Recently I wanted to explain my blog-reading habits and how I decide which blogs to spend time with. I realized that the most important things I have learned from the Lion Guardians and other Wildlife Direct blogs is not about lions or other nature creatures. The most important lessons come from the unavoidable detours, which piece by piece have increased my understanding of the parts of Africa I knew nothing about before.

    Especially revealing was the short period when the violence around elections in Kenia raised up issues about the impact of loss of tourism income. Before that I had no idea about any arrangements to divert at least a small dribble of that money to local communities. I still have no idea of how that money is channeled and used, but knowing that losing that income had serious impact to on-going initiatives opened up a new understanding of the socio-economical circumstances in your part of Kenia. I mean things like the fine balance between Maasai pastoralists and the nature park. For the park, it is vital that the wildlife from the park can migrate annually to the neighboring areas, even though they compete over the grazing land with Maasai livestock. Having all that space fenced up for agriculture would be a threat both to the Maasai and the the park – and thereby to the tourism and the money it brings. For the Maasai, it is essential to have alternative sources of income, so they do not need to over-graze the pastures – which also would be detrimental to the park. Africa is not as spacious to its people as it used to be.

    Against this backdrop, I find this report very delightful, and enlightening too. You tell that the local elders have made their own initiative to set aside a conservancy and take care of it in an organized manner. What could be better news? Wonderful!

  • Pirjo
    Reply

    I have mixed feelings about this.. I strongly believe that wildlife crimes should not go unpunished, because people who are inclined to act this way know that they will get away with it.

    As I’ve visited Kenya couple of times and have spent time in the field with conservationists from different projects I know how hard they work.It hurts to see the results of hard work being diminished.

    I personally won’t travel to Tanzania until they put their house in order and show that the government and the people of Tanzania are serious about protecting their natural heritage.To see those vast open savannahs teem with wildlife, knowing they are protect, would make me very happy.

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