This is Eric reporting from the field after the sad death of lioness Narika:
In what has truly broken my heart, Lomunyak the proud male lion of Narika’s small pride and father of her cubs has been tirelessly looking for her after she was killed. Lomunyak’s tracks have been found practically all over his territory, revealing a strong message. Ever since Narika was killed, Lomunyak has been combing every corner of his expansive home range in search of her. When he saw us in our car, he seemed to be asking a big question, impossible to answer. Where is Narika? This is because he was roaring in broad daylight, which is very rare for the lions in this area.
If Lomunyak could understand the human language, I could have told him the brutal truth. I could have told him that his friend Narika is there no more. She was exterminated by the greatest threat to lions, the Maasai spear.
But because Lomunyak can’t understand me, he is deeply troubled by the unexplained absence of one of his pride members, and he fills my heart with emotions. My worry is that this search might take him closer to human settlements, a potential disaster, and we are doing our best to make sure this does not happen. There have been no reported sightings of Narika’s cubs so far…