For a few days, we kept on receiving reports about a problematic limping lion. He has been sighted several times and is known to have an appetite for livestock meat. Not good news! His story is very interesting though….
Many years ago, before conservation moved into the area, a pride of lions killed several goats in Olgulului, one of our high conflict zones. Maasai morans were very angry at this, and went out on a revenge mission. Here are some morans (but not those involved in the attack – we don’t have photos from that!)
Close to the hills, they found the lions deep asleep. One moran aimed his spear at the sleeping lions and threw it as hard as he could. He speared the foot of the left leg of one of the lions who only narrowly escaped with his life, and ran off into the bush. He could not be found anywhere, and the morans could not believe it! One of their best ‘target men’ had just missed the target! After a long and tiring search, they went home empty handed. No lion tail, no celebration. The lions had escaped!
The pride disappeared for a few months before reappearing again. The speared lion could be identified as he was walking with a limp, but it looked like the wound had healed. The lions disappeared yet again, but now the rains have come and the feared lion has resurfaced yet again! His problem is that he likes staying close to human settlements. A few days after being seen, he killed a zebra, a goat and then crossed over to a nearby Group Ranch and killed the only surviving grade bull. The morans fed on the bull but promised revenge! We heard about their intentions and went to talk to them and try to persuade them not to.
We are pleased to say that they seem to have understood the message. The lion meanwhile kept on coming closer to human settlements and had many people worried. But just when we were becoming extremely concerned, flood water came to the area.
The territory that this lion prefers was flooded with stagnant water. He was forced to retreat to higher ground and thus far from human settlements. For the first time in my life I experienced first-hand the law of nature resolving a potential conflict! We have deployed several Lion Guardians to alert the community of his movement patterns, and hope for a happy ending for the limping lion and the local communities.