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.