“What is the current lion population in our ecosystem?”
“If the gestation period for a lion is about three and half months, why is their population down?”
“Give me the Maasai names of five lions in your locality? ”
“How many claws does a lion have in total?”
These questions were an integral part of lively, interactive, and participatory discussions today between the Lion Guardians and the Maasai community in Loolakir within the greater Amboseli ecosystem to commemorate World Lion Day. August 10th has been declared World Lion Day specifically to shine a light on the plight of this iconic species that is an integral part of a balanced ecosystem but is facing various threats. The Lion Guardians are extremely happy to be celebrating this day for the second year running.
Today’s function, held at Loolakir primary school, was attended by about 224 people from all walks of life. Eric Ole Kesoi (Lion Guardians Community Manager) briefed all in attendance on the importance of World Lion Day giving examples of many other days that are globally set aside for workers, women, fathers, child and even specific diseases. He explained that the Lion Guardians decided to celebrate this year’s World Lion Day in Loolakir to emphasize that Loolakir’s comunity’s tolerance to lions in particular and wildlife in general is recognized and valued by the global community. Loolaikir is an area inhabited by lions, hyenas, cheetah, elephants and people whose unavoidable interaction often leads to conflicts. After showing them several films on lions one of which is the Lion Guardians’ educational film and features several people known to them, smiles were written all over their faces.
Overall the community was very happy to hear that because of their tolerance to lions and the efforts of various stakeholders, despite the global lion population going down, the lion population within the Amboseli ecosystem is going up! The ceremony culminated in a presentation of footballs with a lion logo to several youth teams in the area and a thrilling football match between two teams cheered by all in attendance.