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My fears have now been validated. I regret to inform you that Nosioki, our motherly female lioness is no more! A few days ago, I wrote about the lion-livestock conflict in Osewan. This area has been of great concern to the Lion Guardians given the fact that it is just outside of Lion Guardian zones, on a neighboring Group Ranch, where the environment is rife with conflict. Lions have consistently been killing livestock in this thick area which was acting as a sanctuary for both livestock and wildlife. However, yesterday, 7 weak sheep that usually graze nearby got lost. They were found dead having been killed by hyenas based on the pattern of the killing. The carcasses were then laced with a white substance that is known to originate from Tanzania.

Poisoned sheep carcass

Poisoned sheep carcass

In the early hours of the morning, Nosioki and her cubs came across the carcasses and ate. The first female cub died instantly and our Lion Guardians found her and reported it immediately.

Lion Guardian Sitonik with Nosioki's dead cub

Lion Guardian Sitonik with Nosioki's dead cub

As they were relaying the information to us, Nosioki was kicking and taking her last breath. We found her dead shortly thereafter. Two vultures that had been perched on top of a nearby tree, later dropped dead, as well as countless flies. We assembled all the sheep, vultures and lion carcasses and burned them in order to prevent anymore death.

Sitonik with Nosioki

Sitonik with Nosioki

One male cub was still alive in the thicket and he ran away from us as we approached, a sign of being alert. Pua Mederi, the big male lion in the pride was fortunately not around and the cub might have been lucky. Our Lion Guardians are out today to look for his signal. However, with the male cub being barely a year, his fate is almost certain to be over.

The picture of Nosioki with her head facing down was clearly a sight to behold! I have never seen anything like this before. This was not just another lion to me. It was Nosioki, an individual that has been known to us for the last two years. She was part of the pride of Eselenkei community and owing to her good reputation of not killing livestock she was well liked. However, recently, since moving to a new area less tolerant of wildlife in general and predators in particular, she developed a trait of being a constant livestock killer.

Sitonik and Eric with Nosioki

Sitonik and Eric with Nosioki

Personnel from Kenya Wildlife Service later joined us but did not take any action saying the area is out of their Amboseli jurisdiction. The culprit is well known so we urge that action be taken against him- The killing has to stop. Without any action being taken against the culprit, many predators will disappear since this is the fourth lion to be killed in the area. Already, the future of Amboseli National Park hangs in the balance as animal migratory corridors and dispersal areas are being sold off. Add this to a continuous and systematic decimation of the dwindling lion population due to poisoning across the border in Tanzania and on the outlying Group Ranches, the fear of Amboseli becoming one big dust bowl will soon be real. God forbid!

Lion Guardians urgently need  your help and support to expand into this critical area. Please take a few minutes to make a donation now, and help the Lion Guardians protect other lions from the same fate of Nosioki and her cubs.

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Showing 8 comments
  • Jimmy
    Reply

    This is terribly depressing news – all this for a few scrawny sheep that no body even bothered to herd properly. That fact that the suspect is still at large makes the whole thing worse and puts a big question mark over the future of so many species in this area. Its time one of these poisoners is made an example of, plus the authorities in Tanzania are putting Lions in both coutries in danger by their ongoing failure to clamp down on the misuse of pesticides. It sounds like the remaining cub might of well have been poisoned too:(

  • sauwah
    Reply

    naturally this is tragic! and i am just worried for the young lion cub who is about only 1 year old. he can’t hunt and bring down any thing to eat? either he will be eaten or starve to death! and the kenya wildlife did not want to pursuit? that’s very cowardly of them. the excuse they gave was lame! and maybe that’s why they never voiced their opposition to the highway thru serengenti! and once the highway is done, that will be the end of the lions and other big predators in mara.

  • Pirjo
    Reply

    I’m very angry just now and have to take a deep breath that I won’t say things that I’ll regret later..

    However, I’ll say that Tanzanian officials should seriously look at themselves in a mirror. I don’t hear any good news from that country when it comes to conservation and protecting wildlife.. I’m also worried about KWS and it’s reluctancy to act on the lion poisoning cases.
    This can’t go on!!

  • Brenton
    Reply

    Something died in my heart when I read about this situation! I wish I could do more than I do! Those who can, should!!!!!
    Lion Guardians, I think it is very important that you reassure your readers and supporters that all is going ok on the Kenyan ranches? This gives us all hope for the future!

  • Sonja
    Reply

    This is ridiculous. I understand the ranchers’ frustration with lions preying on their livelihood–I really do. To me it’s no different than sheep ranchers feeling upset and threatened by coyotes and wolves in my country. But I know it doesn’t have to be this way.

    I’m making a contribution right now so this can stop. I can’t stand by any longer and watch my favorite animal being slaughtered.

  • Lisha Daigle
    Reply

    I started a lion protection website on Facebook that is meant to share the stories of the lions and their guardians. I hope to raise awareness and embed links so that donations are made straight away to your organization. Once I have built up this website, I will post it here as well.
    The Lion Guardians are as good as the Sea Shepard Conservation Society; they just need more publicity and attention. I will try my best to help!

  • Wangari
    Reply

    This so maddening…. i’m lost for words. i guess the worst part is that i had no idea. Bless the guardians who have decided to live as it was intended to protect and not kill nature. i guess we can all relate to the pain that this ignorance is causing. are there programs to sensitize the communities on the dangers of killing the lions?? KWS!! really?? jurisdiction..isn’t there anything they can do in the interim, to abate this?

  • sauwah
    Reply

    have you spotted the poor orphan cub? and the kenya wildlife seems to be helpless or useless when matters of life and death of lions! naturally the ones who killed the last cow were hyenas ; the lions got the blame and death. i remember your announcement of the birth of the cubs! i was so excited and happy for the lions and your warriors!

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