Today I am going to answer some questions that Paula asked me. She wanted to know how many lions we have saved, is it enough, and what are my greatest challenges that keep me awake at night. I asked Lion Guardian Koikai these questions last week, but I will give you my answers too.
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It is hard to say how many lions we have saved. The Lion Guardians stop lions from being killed in different ways. They save them directly by stopping hunting parties, and they have done this 10 times, so we know that they have saved at least 10 lions, as if a lion hunting part goes out you can guarantee they will kill at least one lion, maybe two.
The Lion Guardians also stop lions from being killed indirectly, by reducing conflict between lions and people – so people are less likely to go out and kill lions in retaliation when their livestock are killed. It is hard to say how many lions we have saved by helping the communities in this way, but it must be many.
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Is it enough? I don’t think we it will be enough until lions stop being killed over the whole of the ecosystem. At the moment if a lion moves out of our ranch it is risking its life, because murrans on other ranches are still killing lions. Until we have expanded the Lion Guardians program to the whole ecosystem, and onto other ranches I don’t think it will be enough.
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And what keeps me up at night? The challenge of funding. The Lion Guardians program relies on your donations to continue running – it is as simple as that! If we can’t run the program here, we will not be able to expand it to other areas and save the lions on our neighboring ranches. This really keeps me awake at night!