Lion Guardian Eric tells us of his joy at hearing the news that mighty male lion Lomunyak has returned to his territory:
After disappearing for 3 whole weeks without trace, Lomunyak has returned back to his territory in Mbirikani Group Ranch. Maybe he was upset and shocked by the sudden absence of Narika and decided to perform a disappearing act, but his absence brought a lull never before felt in his territory. During this period, there were no sightings of his tracks, no livestock depredations attributed to him and no roaring at night. The silence revealed his strong absence from an area he has made his home in the last year, a territory he skillfully and strategically carved for himself and one in which no male lion dared spend a day for fear of Lomunyak’s wrath.
When finally there were some reports of sightings of Lomunyak by our Lion Guardians on the ground, the news spread like bushfire within the team and it brought both excitement and relief. Initially, we were worried that with many of the Amboseli National Park lion population roaming into the Group Ranches, other male lions might challenge him to take over his pride. We were also worried that a group of people might have harmed him in the bush silently and kept it secret. So, you can imagine the happiness in our team when we heard reports of his existence and good health.
We immediately dispatched a team to verify his tracks. We first tracked the lionesses Selenkay and Elikan and their 4 cubs. We found them peacefully resting inside a thicket. Respecting their rest, we left them in peace. We tracked for Lomunyak to ascertain his presence and after a few metres we found his fresh tracks. I went close, tracked for some minutes and the ground revealed to me the unmistakable presence. It’s Lomunyak! I know it because I know a secret not known to many….Lomunyak has a crooked toe! Here he is with Selenkay.
This positive verification brought to my heart joy and happiness, which have been absent since the recent lion killings. Now, with the return of normality on Mbirikani and the presence of Lomunyak in his territory, my heart is full of warmth and gratitude.