Willy’s new cubs

The Lion Guardians team has seen signs indicating that Lioness Willy, whose territory is Lake Amboseli and its surroundings, recently had cubs. However, in all of our recent sightings, she has been accompanied by her usual companion Shiankiki and two others; we have not seen her with cubs.

About one month ago, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel responded to reports of four tiny cubs being found on their own.  A big debate ensued as concerned stakeholders discussed what should be done with the cubs. A few days before the cubs were found, another lioness named Amyjane had been killed in Amboseli National Park; some thought that perhaps these cubs belonged to Amyjane, so one view was that they needed to be rescued and sent to the KWS orphanage in Nairobi.

Since we suspected that there were other cubs of the same age in the park, and since mother lions will often leave their cubs alone while they go hunting, we advised KWS to let the cubs stay exactly where they were for at least another day, because if they weren’t Amyjane’ s cubs, their mother would most likely return to collect them.  If the cubs got moved, then the mother would never be able to find them. Luckily, KWS agreed to leave the cubs for a day, because sometime during the night, the cubs were collected!  We are happy that they were spared from a life in captivity at the orphanage! But now the big question was, whose cubs were they?

Well just a few days ago, our team saw Willy’s pride and they had with them four small cubs that we had not seen before. It was clear that two of them belonged to Willy while other two belonged to lioness Nolenkayia. The mothers looked very healthy, as  there has been plentiful availability of prey species around the swampy area close to them. This is Willy’s third litter and we pray that she successfully manages to bring them to maturity and further boost Amboseli lion population.

The lionesses with two of the cubs

The Lion Guardians protect these and the other lions of the Amboseli ecosystem, and under this protection, the number of cubs making it to sub-adulthood has skyrocketed, resulting in one of the few lion populations in the world to be increasing rather than being decimated at an alarming rate.  We need your support to make sure that these lions continue to be protected.  By supporting the Lion Guardian program financially, you are doing your part in ensuring that Willy’s cubs will have a fighting chance of reaching adulthood.  Please make a donation to Lion Guardians today.

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