Hi, this is Eric.
Recently we told you the news that two young male lions had been spotted by Lion Guardian Lenkina in the same area that Mbeuti and her cubs used to live in. After the sad spearing of Mbeuti by the new age-set of morans back in March, her two 13-month old male cubs escaped unhurt, but many predicted their death owing to their young age. Here they are back with their mother, before the sad event.
However we are now pretty sure that they have defied all the odds and have survived! This must be largely due to the good care their mother gave them before she met her fate. Since the spearing, these cubs moved from place to place, far and wide, in search of their mother, but to no avail. The pangs of hunger were biting hard, they knew they must kill to survive but did not know how. And here they are!
It turns out that during the months of March and April they terrorized more than 10 bomas, killing goats and injuring donkeys but eating none, as they were chased away by angry owners. They even survived many attempted attacks themselves! At the height of the conflicts, the Lion Guardians in conjunction with other stakeholders, managed to stop 3 more lion hunts, all caused in retaliation for livestock killed by these two cubs. It seems they had some close escapes, and since then have never again killed livestock – perhaps they have learnt their lesson! We certainly hope so.
A few days ago, we got another report of two young lion tracks around the same area that Mbeuti and her cubs used to patrol. We summoned our team of reputable trackers! Upon finding the tracks, many thought they might be a female and a cub, as one was slightly bigger than the other. But as soon as I saw them, I knew they were familiar tracks! These tracks surely belonged to Mbeuti’s cubs.
At their age, they have defied all predictions to survive for the last three months. Now I hope they can continue to grow big and handsome like Maringa and Pua, and avoid livestock and people. The Lion Guardians will do their best to enable this to happen.