Child attacked by lion

A child has been attacked and injured by a lion near Amboseli National Park. The young child was herding goats when he wandered close to a female lioness hiding in long grass with her young cubs. When he came too close she jumped out of the grass and attacked him. It seems she was trying to protect her cubs. He suffered claw wounds on his side around his ribs and was rushed to the closest hospital for treatment. He has now been discharged, and we hear he is doing fine.

When we heard the news we were worried for the boy, but also for the lioness, as warriors were talking of getting together to go out and kill her. We are very thankful that Soila of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and lion researchers in the area were able to mitigate the conflict, and the lioness was saved. Here is a photo of another lioness, who was protecting her cubs.


It is very rare for lions to attack people, except in defense when being attacked by people, and this is a strange case. In Tanzania it is quite common in certain areas for lions to attack people and there have been a number of cases reported where villagers have been attacked and killed by lions, but here in Kenya we are lucky that this is a very rare occurrence. You may have heard about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo, but this was a very odd case and it is not common to hear of such behahaviour here.


  • Anna M says:

    I am happy the young boy is doing ok, in the end of the day she was protecting her young and not out to kill any man, brilliant work to mitigate any conflict, once again great efforts by Soila and ATFE…

  • sauwah says:

    the boy should be given a vocation for his experience. however, the lioness was doing the right thing as a mother whose duty is to nurture, protect and teach her young. she too deserves a good vocation only if she were a human being instead of a brave predator. if the warriors were to kill her, not only would they have taken her precious and innocent life, the warriors would have taken also the lives of her babies. Therefore, the guys from the amboseli elephant trust did a very good deed. and the warriors also did a very good thing too for listening to what reasons those elephant trust men said.

    i know how difficult it is to spot a lion or a leopard under a bush especially when one is busy doing his duty. i heard of one case where a boy accidentally woke or scared an old sleeping leopard who had been a well known cat in the mara area. naturally that scared leopard attacked and injured the boy badly. the warriors tracked down this old leopard who had no precious case of attacking any person nor livestock and speared it. it’s just too bad for both. as always predators do have much to loose even though the fault does not fall on them.

  • Sonja says:

    I’m glad the boy has recovered and I’m equally glad to hear that the conflict has been resolved; this chance and erratic behavior shouldn’t have to conclude with any ended lives. Great work!

    Also, I was able to attend a lecture on lion conservation by Dr. Laurence Frank from Living With Lions at the Oregon Zoo, and it was great! Not only did it give me an excuse to spend some time listening about lions, it also educated all of us on the newest innovations and technology being implemented in plans to help people and lions coexist peacefully.


  • Annie says:

    Oh dear…..I hope these people are understanding and not out to seek revenge…I am glad the child is ok but we all know mama lion was just protecting her young herself…..keep us updated! THanks

  • Thank you for your comments – we are all so glad it ended well. It could have been a very different story…

    Sonja – I’m so glad you learnt a lot from Dr. Frank – I’ll let him know how much you enjoyed his lecture!

  • paula says:

    Congratulations on mitigating the conflict, I’m not sure how I’d respond if it was my son who had been attacked by a lion … can’t be easy at all. Keep up the amazing work Anthony, and tell us what Oxford University said!!! We are dying to hear news.

  • Still no news from Oxford! Thanks Paula – we’ll let you know!

  • Hashi-Hanta says:

    Thank God the boy is alright. Obviously, she could have killed him, but chose not to do so. That says a lot for her. I’m grateful that level heads prevailed!

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