Gurme’s Pyrrhic victory

Two sub-adult male lions arrived in Selenkay Conservancy some years ago. They had dispersed from a pride in  a part of the Chyulu Hills called Olosira (southern Kenya). In Selenkay, they found a resident male lion and his four sub-adult male sons. The two new arrivals, who Lion Guardians later named Gurme and Lormesasu, settled on a stretch on the periphery of the conservancy where they could avoid coming into conflict with other males.

It was not long before the four sub-adults pushed out their father and then dispersed. Gurme and Lormesasu, now fully grown, took over two females, producing 8 cubs between them. All was well with the two males slowly taking over all the females in the area, until Gurme developed a taste for sheep and goats. He began to raid Maasai bomas frequently, under the cover of night, managing to escape each time. The community was very angry. Lion Guardians intervened to protect Gurme on many occasions over the years while he and his brother sired many litters of cubs with the many females in the broad Selenkay pride. One night Gurme  jumped into a boma protected by a chain-link fence and killed several sheep and goats. The Maasai Moran (warrior) on guard speared Gurme four times. Somehow, he managed to jump out of the boma and escape. The Guardians checked on Gurme frequently as he recovered from his injuries and survived. Gurme did not reform, however. He continued to bring the wrath of the community on himself.

One day he influenced his well-behaved brother, Lormesasu. Together, Gurme and Lormesasu attacked a big bull that was  part of a herd under the care of a Maasai moran. The moran reacted, spearing Lormesasu  and critically injuring him. That same night Lormesasu succumbed to his injuries.

The death of his brother changed Gurme.  He never again attacked livestock. He was recently pushed out of his territory by two young males, also originating from the far-away Chyulu Hills, Loisulie and Loteletha, who took over two of his females. He moved to a different location where he is dwelling with two of his pride females and several tiny cubs and sub-adults. Gurme no longer comes into conflict with humans.

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