It’s the dead of the night, and all is silent. Then, suddenly, a roar breaks through the quiet. Five minutes later it sounds again. And then again. Now it sounds like someone is knocking on our door…except at the Lion Guardians Training Center there really are no doors, only canvas tents that separate us from the roaring stranger outside. All through the night the roaring continues, as Whatsapp messages fly around from one tent to the other – it’s obvious no one is sleeping tonight! As dawn breaks, our office manager, John Merishi, peeks through his window to see a young lioness with one cloudy eye striding through camp, making herself at home. She settles near the water tank outside Jeremiah’s (our camp and vehicle maintenance operator) home and as he peeks out of his window, she fixes her cloudy stare right at him!
It’s not the first time we’ve had special visitors to camp. One morning in late August, Stephanie woke up after a restless night with a feeling of unease. As she stepped outside of her tent to get some fresh air, her gaze happened to catch lion tracks around her tent…it appeared that two lions had come to her tent, stared at it and then moved on into the bush. Trying to get to the bottom of this, Stephanie and Jeremiah followed the tracks of these two lions for more than 10 kms before giving up the search. The next morning, they happened to find the tracks again and after following them for another 10kms or so, they got a visual of four young female lions – Nenkobewa, Ngenoi, Sanarua and Sunkuroi. As Jeremiah and Stephanie watched them, the young lionesses looked at them as if they were etching their faces into their memory. The next morning, after an uneasy and restless night Jeremiah awoke to their tracks outside his home!
All these incidents make us wonder if the lions are trying to tell us something – if we visit them….they visit us??
Tonight as the ghosts and ghouls roam, remember there are also living things roaming the wilds that are scary too especially when encountered outside your tent! But the Guardians say, these are our lions and they can come and go as they please, and that even though they have big teeth and carnivorous appetites they still need our protection.
So from all of us at Lion Guardians: HAPPY HALLOWEEN
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