Hi everyone. This is Eric.
Our team was out in the field visiting the southern Olgulului area where we hope to expand the Lion Guardians project to. The community members came out in good numbers to meet our team and seemed very pleased with our plans for expansion into their area. On seeing satisfaction written in their faces accompanied as always by beaming smiles, we left.
On our way back, we met Parkesian, our Lion Guardian in Meshenani. He told us that he had just seen two male lions not very far from where we were so we decided to go and check out the report. A few kilometers deep into Olgulului Group Ranch, we found two male lions deep asleep. Respecting their slumber, we allowed them to rest. On trying our telemetry equipment we immediately knew who they were. It was one of our collared male lions called Maringa and his usual companion ‘Mr. Nose’ or Pua!
Both detected our presence and proximity to them but were not in the least bit concerned, and they soon went back to sleep. They looked so much at ease and at peace with themselves as if they had killed recently and this was their resting day. Both looked very healthy. We are beginning to think that these two lions must be related because they are so often found together. Adaptation is critical to survival, and lions outside protected areas are adapting by adopting unusual behaviours, like hanging out in small groups as opposed to prides.
Both of these lions are known to frequent Eselenkei but are resident in Olgulului and hardly ever go into Amboseli National Park. They have an admirable record with regards to human-wildlife conflict as their livestock kill numbers are modest. The good news is that elands have started calving, particularly in areas that Maringa and Pua frequent, especially Selenkay Conservancy, which will mean plenty of easy prey for lions.
There is nothing as exciting and as satisfying as seeing lions completely at peace with their environment and without any conflict to talk about. When I first saw Maringa at close range while on foot I thought he was a very handsome lion, but now I have seen him at even closer range from a vehicle I think he looks even more handsome than I thought then! How I pray that all the remaining lions see many more sunsets, like these two, and thank you to all those of you who are helping this to happen with your support of the Lion Guardians project. Asante sana!