LION KILLED, THEN LACED WITH POISON
We have some very sad news to report. Just over the border in Tanzania a lion has been speared to death by Maasai from both Kenya and Tanzania in a joint retaliatory hunting party (Olkiyioi). This happened after the lioness supposedly killed a cow and a donkey.
Though the local community didn’t want any authorities to find the lion’s carcass, the Lion Guardians were able to use one of their informers in the area to show them where it was. The adult lioness, said to be part of a pride of 5 other sub-adults and 1 large male was found in the place she died. Her ears, tail, paws and canines had been removed – the latter two said to have been taken for sale.
More worrying still, it seems that around 3 days after the lion’s death, someone returned to the carcass and laced it with a blue granulated poison (of similar description to Furadan). Samples were taken and the carcass burned to ensure that scavenging animals could not be harmed – hyena and other lion tracks had been seen near the site. Thankfully no poisoned animals have yet been found.
It is said that the lioness was a problem animal (i.e. an animal that regularly kills livestock) and originated from Amboseli National Park with her pride, though they live mostly outside the park, killing livestock. Sadly, for this reason the community was very happy to hear of her death. Tanzanian Maasai are vowing to continue to kill lions until they all return to the Kenyan side of the border, and Kenyan Maasai seem to be fully ready to participate in the killing.
The attack happened just over the border from the southern side of Olgulului Group Ranch, which surrounds Amboseli National Park. Currently the Lion Guardians program is only operating on Northern Olgulului. We are hoping to expand the project to Southern Olgulului where it is clear there is a great need for conservation efforts, but we just don’t have the funds to do this. Expansion into this area is now more urgent than ever.
Please help us to raise funds to expand our project into Southern Olgulului. You can make a donation to the project right here on the Lion Guardians blog. It will only take a minute or two of your day to help and anything, big or small can go a long way.
Thank you very much, and our apologies for telling this sad story, but we felt we had to report it to the public, and ask for your help.
It is important to inform us all of the reality facing lions. The world is very fortunate to have the Lion Guardians programme and may it continue to expand across the Group Ranches.
I still can’t believe that Kenyan government isn’t protecting one of the most valuable assets of the country’s tourism attractions. I’ve just returned home from a two week trip in Kenya and one of the high lights of my journey was to see seven lions in one day at Masai Mara. It was incredible and I’ll never forget it.
Nowadays when most humans,unfortunately, value things in money one should think that the remaining lions in Kenya would be worth much more than being cowardly killed by poison etc. I’m honestly starting to think that the wildlife should be protected by armed rangers..
I totally agree with Pirjo!
All kenya needs to do is deal with conflict issues, compensate for lion losses, provide incentives to those who protect lions and ban the no. 1 killer, the pesticide Furadan (carbofuran) but there are powerful forces against that! Since the lion died in TZ I suspect that Kenya will disown the incident.
While armed rangers may initially seem like an attractive solution to this problem, in reality it would create nothing but more conflict. If it did help matters it would only be in the short term.
The real solution is the provide education and mediation, not violence and threats.
Good work, Lion Guardians team. We’re all rooting for you.
My great worry is that lions and other wildlife species under threat don’t have the time to wait for humans to get educated enough in order to understand their value. This is a major problem also in the Western world where people should already be enough educated and wealthy to leave some space for the wildlife to survive, but unfortunately biodiversity loss continues and many species are disappearing.
Lion Guardians are doing fantastic job and I’ve been their dedicated supporter for couple of years and wish more people will join forces and donate to this valuable work.
lion guardians along with so many others who are working to save and conserve wild predators and educate the local Maasai herders the value of lions,leopards and other wild animals are doing fantastic work in Kenya, I am just worried for the lions in Tanzania. And this death of the lion is only one example of the desperate situation the lions are in in Tanzania . they do not have lion guardian program nor any compensation to herders who truly have loss their cattle or goat to lions. the Maasailand Trust does compensate any loss to lions to herders who can show the true loss while have chosen to not kill.
I agree with you on that, Pirjo. There is a great disparity between the expressed concern of wealthy westerners and their actions to reverse these disturbing trends of biodiversity loss.
Have you heard of the Kasese Wildlife Conservation Awareness Project? It was started by a Ugandan who now works as a zookeeper in Oregon. He wanted to address the problem of children in Africa knowing less about their rich natural history than western youth who take such knowledge for granted. It’s a hopeful step in the right direction.
I agree that Tanzania desperately needs a similar program to Lion Guardians, after all it holds the vast majority of the Serengeti ecosystem. Unless something is done fast there, there will be no lions left in the Serengeti.