Success story of the Lion Guardians
Lion Guardians interact with many different people from other areas during their daily tasks. This mostly happens when Mbirikani has an influx of nomads due to the short rains which other ranches didn’t received. These people bring with them different traits specifically murrans (warriors) whose areas still continue killing lions. These murrans are never given a chance of education. The Lion Guardians encounter hard times trying to explain to them the story behind their change of minds to conserve the king of beasts rather than killing.
Warriors have had a history of knowing each from the different lion killing they have participated in. They use these criteria when moving to other places so that they can compete or even outdo their host murrans. This was the case that happened to Lenkiloriti and Emukutan Guardians. Some people may ask why Lenkiloriti and Emukutan got the visitors and not other areas on Mbirikani ranch? There are two main reasons: Lenkiloriti and Emukutan have good pastures and are not as far from water points as other places, like Oldoinyo Wuas whose livestock travel to Kikarangot River which is 20 kilometres south of our camp. Lenkiloriti and Emukutan are not infested with Tsetse flies like along the Chyulu Hills
Above is a photo of the Lenkiloriti area
Back to the Guardians story: Kapande (Guardian from Lenkiloriti) and Masarie (Guardian from Emukutan) went to a night dance invited by their new murran friends who have migrated over from neighboring group ranches. The purpose for this dance was actually to find out if Kapande and Masarie would take the new murrans out to hunt for lions. Kapande is well known as he killed more than two lion before he became a Lion Guardian.
Both Lion Guardians explained the benefits their communities are getting as a result of conservation and their changed ways. This was quite a surprise to visiting murrans since their expectation was to be shown where lions were. This made them wonder what is so special that inspired murrans not to go ahead with Olamayio (lion hunting parties). The Guardians told the newcomers about the Lion Guardian program and how nowadays warriors on Mbirikani benefit from protecting the lions, not killing them.
Here is Kapande watching livestock in his home area, Lenkiloriti