As you may know we now have Lion Guardians monitoring and conserving lions on three Group Ranches across the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem – Mbirikani (where the project started), and now Eselenkei and Olgulului Group Ranches. These ranches combined are about 4000km², and hold key habitats for the last remaining lions of southern Kenya.
The Guardians are all Maasai warriors, working in the own communities to monitor their lions and reduce any conflicts between the local people (and their livestock) and carnivores. The guys work extremely hard 6 days a week, and thanks to YOUR donations they are getting their wages paid, and tracking equipment, GPS units and supplies bought for their work. Here are the Mbirikani Lion Guardians.
To celebrate the hard work of the Lion Guardians and the success of the project, this December we will be holding the first ever LION GUARDIAN GAMES! This will involve the coming together of all the 25 Guardians from the three ranches, to meet and compete and celebrate their work together. Here are the Eselenkei Lion Guardians, with Co-ordinator Eric, ready to compete!
The Games will involve competitions in all the skills of a Maasai warrior – tracking, spear throwing, singing, stick throwing, jumping and even maybe football! This will not only be a fun way for the Guardians to relax after a hard year of successful work, but will be a way for those from different ranches to meet each other, and gain a sense of ‘brotherhood’, to tell stories of their work and collaborate with each other.
As lions range far and wide across ranch boundaries it is important that the Guardians on neighbouring ranches get to know each other so they can communicate about when lions are roaming into each others’ zones. This collaboration is essential for lion conservation to happen successfully across the ecosystem. Here are some of the Lion Guardians playing football on the Mbirikani plains.
As well as awarding prizes to the winners of the various games, we will also be giving awards for the best work over the year, for example for the most lions reported, the highest number of lost livestock found, or the Guardian who stopped the most number of lion hunts. This gives something for each Guardian to work towards at the end of each year.
So now we need your help! We need $1000 to make the Lion Guardian Games happen. This will be spent on prizes, food, transport, and accommodation for 25 Guardians at our Mbirikani camp. Please help us by making a donation by adding a number in the ‘Lion Guardian Games’ QTY box, so we can raise the $1000 we need to hold the Games. Our suggested donation is $50, but if you would prefer to make a donation of a different amount, please do! You just need to let us know that your ‘open donation’ should be put towards the Lion Guardian Games by making a comment on the blog. Thank you!
The Games will be a celebration for the Lion Guardians, for the lions they have saved so far, and those they will save in the future.
A very big THANK YOU from all the Lion Guardians!