As you may remember, we were planning to hold the Lion Guardian Games at the very end of last year, but we had to postpone them for a number of reasons – firstly due to major floods, which meant that the Guardians could not attend, but also because the depletion of herbivores and the presence of weak cows (because of the drought) led to a great increase in attacks on livestock by lions. Tensions were running high across the whole ecosystem, lion hunts were attempted and the Guardians were urgently needed on the ground to do all they could to prevent the conflicts. Here is a photo taken during the floods.
This high tension situation lasted for months, with the Guardians working extremely hard to prevent any more lion deaths and reduce the conflicts between the local Maasai communities and lions. Now it seems that the majority of conflicts have subsided, and the Guardians are no longer under such huge pressure. So now we will be able to hold the Games!
The Lion Guardian Games involves competitions in all the skills of a Maasai warrior – tracking, spear throwing, singing, stick throwing, jumping and even football! This will not only be a fun way for the Guardians to relax after all their hard 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. As well as awarding prizes to the winners of the various games, we will also be giving prizes for the best Lion Guardians work, to encourage the guys further.
Thank you to all of you that donated towards the Games, so long ago! We are so grateful to you all for your support, and pleased that we will now be able to use your donations to hold the first ever Lion Guardian Games!