Tag Archives: dead lion

Lion tracking in Maasai culture

Tracking is an art and an age-old tradition which can be very addictive. Lion tracking is usually inspired by boundless curiosity and ultimately the burning desire to find a lion. Whilst tracking, it is imperative to remain alert to every detail of your surroundings; from the dirt trail to the sky above, a paw print on the ground, or the calls of carnivorous birds, the environment is filled with clues and signs.  A keen tracker is able to interpret these clues and, more often than not, successfully follow and sight a lion.

Lions frequently travel on livestock/wildlife trails, riverbanks, dirt roads or around waterholes so this is where a seasoned tracker is likely to start looking for paw prints or pugmarks. Like a signature, paw prints have consistent shape and size and can be used to confirm a lion’s sex, age and even identity. For instance, the paws of a male lion are squarer and bigger than a female’s. Furthermore, unlike other predators, claw marks are not visible on the paw prints of all cats including lions.

Once a tracker has spotted paw prints and is on the trail of an animal, there can be no greater satisfaction than to follow the clues and signs in the environment until he has a visual of the particular species he is tracking. But to achieve this is no easy task. The tracker has to construct exactly what took place several hours before he came along simply by observing the tracks on the ground. Through his observations he also has to surmise the probable direction in which the animals have ventured after they left that particular spot.

While some tracking skills can be developed, some individuals have an innate ability to read their surroundings and follow the signs till they spot the animal they have been tracking. Here in Maasailand, being a good tracker can define an individuals standing in the community. Usually, a seasoned tracker is a warrior of great repute and someone the entire community would revere.

Of all the animals that the Maasai track, the lion is probably the most well known. The lion is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic and majestic animals in the world. And although lions bring many problems to those that live with them, Maasailand also shares these feelings of wonder and respect. Lions elicit reverence for their grace and independent nature; they also trigger fear when they come into close contact with people and livestock. In the past, successfully tracking and spearing a lion was a valuable act and proof of bravery amongst the Maasai. It carried with it prestige, status and respect in equal measure. But time has changed and the concerted efforts of different stakeholders especially within the Amboseli ecosystem is bearing fruits and slowly changing the tide. Direct benefits accruing from wildlife has brought about a positive attitudinal change, which carries with it a glimmer of hope for the future of wildlife species including the lion. In fact, over the last three years, there has been a significant increase in the lion population around the group ranches of the greater Amboseli ecosystem. Through programs such as Lion Guardians, Maasai warriors are now able to use their natural inborn tracking skills to protect lions instead of harming them, while at the same time helping to protect their communities from confrontations with predators. In zones where Lion Guardians patrol, the art of tracking is very much alive, albeit, for a completely different purpose!

Lioness killed inside Amboseli Park

The on-going human-wildlife conflict in Amboseli moved a notch higher yesterday with a complete show of bravado never seen in the recent past. Monday in the middle of the night a lioness, Amyjane, had jumped into a boma adjacent to the park, killed a donkey and cow, and was speared in the front left leg. The morans responsible for the spearing wanted to follow her into the park, but were persuaded not to by elders and village leaders. The morans heeded their advice, but continued to monitor the movement of the lioness inside the park. The following morning we were called in to track and assess the situation of the lioness. She was deep inside a small thicket when we found her and it was clear that she was experiencing a lot of pain. She didn’t move when we drove close with the vehicle and she exhibited a lot of aggression which is unlike her normal behavior.

One of the last photos of Amyjane alive

Then as fate would have it, the veterinary officer that was supposed to treat her was summoned very early in the morning to attend to a rhino that had died due to a gun wound from poachers in the Chyulu Game Reserve. While awaiting the vet to arrive, we responded to another depredation report we received from Lion Guardian Jackson in a nearby zone.

During that time, a herder brought livestock inside the park for water very close to where Amyjane was hidden. When she saw the herder, she growled and the livestock scampered for safety, thus prompting the herder to summon the morans from the nearby cultural boma. They responded immediately and tracked the lion within 10 minutes and speared her ten times till she succumbed to death.

At this time we had just finished verifying Jackson’s report and were on our way back to check on Amyjane, with five Kenya Wildlife Service rangers we picked up on the way. As we were approaching the site where we last saw her (about 50 meters away) we found a lion paw freshly cut. We immediately started to fret, but we also thought that maybe it belonged to another lion that might have been killed earlier that morning.

Worried, we rushed to the site where we had last seen Amyjane just an hour ago, but she was nowhere to be seen! We immediately reached for the receiver to track her collar, but unfortunately after five minutes of searching we came up empty handed. At this time we returned with the KWS rangers to where the paw was found and started tracking the perpetrators foot prints. Using my traditional tracking skills we followed their fresh tracks for about five minutes until we reached Amyjane.

Her body was dismembered; specifically the torso was cut in half and placed 50 meters apart likely to conceal the killing. Her head and all of her paws were missing. This was proof that her killers were in a hurry to leave the site, accompanied by their intentions to sell the fresh trophies to the nearby tourists who visit the park. Interestingly, the tail which is the most important part of traditional lion killing celebrations was still intact: meaning that the killing was not traditionally motivated. It was a ghastly site to see, especially given the fact that we had just seen her alive a few hours ago. I was horrified and heart broken at the same time.

Amyjane’s dismembered body

After joining Amyjane’s torso to verify it was one lion that was killed we decided to follow the fresh tracks of the warriors, which led to the nearby cultural bomas. What was interesting is that the cultural boma, which is always a bee-hive of activities (especially during the high season), was so conspicuously silent that one could hear a pin drop!

Amyjane whose pride has known misfortune over the last few years is the latest victim. Her sister mysteriously died two years ago and left her the duty of bringing up nine small cubs. She successfully brought six of those cubs to maturity, while one was killed by an elephant.  Another was killed by a pair of resident male lions and the third was speared at the gate of the same cultural boma in which her mother’s killers live. Currently, she has three very small cubs whom she left with her companion, who also has three cubs of the same size. We hope that she will be able to bring up all six cubs, but it will be a very difficult feat.

Amyjane’s companion will have a difficult task in trying to raise all of the cubs to maturity. The cubs pictured here are from a litter she had in 2010.

During the past week in Olgulului Group Ranch, lions have gone on a rampage and killed three cows, three donkeys and seriously injured six cows, all resulting in three lion hunts. Lion Guardians managed to stop all the three lion hunting parties in the respective zones. This is due to our diplomatic and non-accusatory approach. But, unfortunately Amyjane was hunted inside the park (outside of our jurisdiction) where existing tensions between the community and KWS has lead to a decrease in tolerance.

Eric used his tracking skills to locate Amyjane’s body and track her killers to the nearby boma.

Currently, the situation in Amboseli is tense and the relationship between the community and KWS is at its lowest ebb and we fear for the future of the local wildlife. The previous conflict resolution meeting on Aug 6th, failed to arrive at an amicable consensus between KWS and the Maasai community. The Maasai community gave KWS 21 days to respond to their petition requesting a fair distribution of the park revenue.  If the morans are bold enough to hunt in the park in broad daylight and kill a collared lioness now, I shiver to think of what will happen if the trust between the community and KWS is severed over revenue-sharing. The parks wildlife will not survive without communal support and Amboseli National Park will be no more than a glorified zoo!!

Hopefully KWS and the local Maasai community can come to an amicable agreement in order to stop more senseless killings like that of Amyjane.

Taking stock of the killing spree

The killing spree in Amboseli necessitated by political tensions between Kenya Wildlife Service and political leaders had a devastating effect to both wildlife and the community.  Community leaders met and took stock of the killings within all of the Group Ranches. The results were shocking, but would have been worse were it not for the critical but strategic intervention of some of the stakeholders. We can confirm the killing of 3 buffalos, 5 elephants and a sub adult female lion. The lion was intentionally driven out and killed at the edge of Amboseli Park after attempting to kill a cow during the day. One of the new Morans was the first to spear, but she injured 2 people.  The carcass was transported on motorbikes and disposed of and has yet to be found. Coincidentally, a male lion that killed a cow on the Tanzania-Kenya border was also killed by Tanzanian Maasai.

About 18 elephants were speared but escaped with injuries and the relevant authorities are currently treating many. These killings appeared to have instilled a sense of fear among the wildlife and added stress to the elephants. A lot of resources were utilized in protecting and providing security as well as apprehending the culprits. A total of 44 Morans were arrested and released. Thirty-one of them received serious injuries and were admitted to a hospital in Namanga and the situation is still tense. Shortly after tempers cooled, two female lionesses killed a cow and a donkey and a party of 18 Morans attempted to kill them near Kitirwa. The Morans thereafter openly admitted swallowing their pride and went home after the lionesses, with 6 small cubs, went wild and instilled some fear into them.

Elikan tries to get a piece of the donkey that Selenkay is moving

The end of a legend

In September 2009, we received an unusual report from our Lion Guardian Kamunu. His report was of a group of 4 male lions of the same age traversing through the Selenkay conservancy. We had never had such a big group of males traveling together so we gave instructions for them to be closely followed. We were able to see them briefly one afternoon, but unfortunately that night , they went on a killing spree, killing 7 donkeys as well as several shoats from one neighboring community. In the morning they were hunted, but due to the efforts of the Lion Guardians and the Eselenkei Game Scouts, no one got hurt and all lions lived to see another day. The next day we collared the biggest and called him Sikiria (meaning he of the donkeys). He then disappeared for 4 months. We gave instructions to our Lion Guardians to track him down but to no avail. We even conducted aerial searches without success! One day when we were following a report of a male lion called Lomunyak on Mbirikani Group Ranch, we did a call-in expecting Lomunyak to show up. We heard the approach of lions and when we shone the light, we saw 2 lions and to our utter surprise, it was Sikiria and his brother Oyayai.   When we down loaded his GPS collar, we were completely baffled by his movement patterns. He had moved through Namanga, spending nearly two weeks up on Namanga Hill, then he went all the way to Torosei which borders Shompole briefly in to Tanzania and back to Eselenkei and over to Mbirikani! Shortly thereafter, he moved beyond the Chyulu hills to an area close to Tsavo West National Park, Kuku. On many occasions he killed livestock and was hunted. At one time in early 2011, he injured a young Moran who was with others, hunting Sikiria after he had killed a cow. Sikiria got away without a scratch.

Sikiria after killing the cow

Sikiria after killing the cow

Over the past few years, he has matured, behaved well and finally settled in a place called Oltiasika mating with more than 6 females and siring over 9 cubs. His pride is composed of 14 lions and is thus one of the biggest lion groups that our Lion Guardian Project monitors outside protected areas.

Some of the cubs Sikiria sired

Some of the cubs sired by Sikiria

A few days ago, Sikiria, together with his brother and constant companion Oyayai, killed a cow at a place called Elang’ata Enkima on Kuku Group Ranch during the day. The cows were being herded by 3 Morans and when the Morans confronted these lions, Oyayai ran for his life but Sikiria waited for them. He was speared but in return he seriously injured 2 of the warriors while the 3rd ran home calling for reinforcements. Many Morans came to the rescue of their colleaques and speared Sikiria to death. But before he died, he seriously injured a 3rdMoran. All the injured Morans are currently recuperating at Loitokitok District hospital and we wish them quick recovery. According to the Maasai tradition, human injuries caused by any wildlife species is unforgivable and revenge is usually the ultimate response.

Sikiria lies dead with holes from spear wounds and parts removed by the warriors

Up until he finally met his fate, and upon downloading his movement patterns, Sikiria had travelled almost 7,000 square km, passing through 21 of the 30 Lion Guardian zones. As far as we can find, he has one of the largest documented ranges outside the desert lions of the Namib. Sikiria has always been a problem lion but our Lion Guardians in conjunction with other stakeholders within the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem like Maasailand Preservation Trust game scouts, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and KWS –Amboselihave all contributed to his protection until he met his fate. He was well-known as a recent survey conducted in Lon Guardian areas showed. Over 70% of people in the surveyed areas could name at least one lion and Sikiria was the most frequently named; a lion legend. His prominent beauty, unique personality, and composure will always be missed by those who knew him.

Sikiria's GPS locations

Sikiria's GPS locations

The last photo taken of Sikiria before his death

The last photo taken of Sikiria before his death

 

Selekay Conservancy comes to life!

With the current well distributed short rains having made the whole terrain verdant, wild ungulates found perfect reason for a holiday outside Amboseli National Park. They streamed out as they usually do into the open plains and ranches adjacent to the Park. Hundreds of elephant families from the park were the first to make forays outside and they found plenty of green grass and vegetation. The seasonal Selenkei River did not disappoint as it burst its banks and poured the much needed pools of water to the seasonally swampy, yet flat landscape in the Conservancy. The elephants enjoy the silence and the almost undisturbed natural green vegetation that is lacking in the park.

Elephant enjoying the lushness of the Selenkay Conservancy

Elephant enjoying the lush grass

Giraffes also invaded in big groups and from the look of things, their number must have increased tenfold over the last few years based on their abundance. Elands, zebra and wildebeests are in the hundreds, as well as different species of gazelles and antelopes. The plush green landscape makes for a perfect breeding ground, not to mention the close proximity of seasonal water sources. The Conservancy is also home to thousands of different bird species with their beautiful morning and sundowner musical sounds a constant companion.

Nempakai

Nempakai

What has made this festive season in Selenkay Conservancy very unique is the number of lions. Selenkay pride, which is a group of 11 lions, now inhabits the south eastern side bordering Mbirikani. Manenkop, Pua and cub, as well as 3 of Nosioki’s sub adults have made the north western side closer to Tulakaria their home. A few days ago, Nempakaai, Nolakunte and Asama, who are well known Park lions, followed the prey and are now in the south of the Conservancy. They have with them 5 cubs that are almost a year old. Asama, a well known livestock killer has reportedly, unsuccessfully tried to enter into temporary bomas at night but failed. My prayer and hope is that these lions stay out of trouble and find reason to make Selenkay Conservancy a permanent habitat. If all of these lion stay till the end of the long rains, Selenkay Conservancy will be the envy of many since it will boast of a lion population of 25!!

Nempakai's cubs playing just out side of Amboseli Park

Nempakai's cubs playing

Nosioki’s male cub still alive

After our female lion Nosioki and her female cub were poisoned in Osewan in Matapato outside our jurisdiction, we thought that was the end for this pride. The white poisonous substance obtained from Tanzania that was used is so lethal; we thought nothing will be spared. The male cub that survived was barely a year and even though cubs are normally weaned by 8 months, they are not independent of adults until 18 months and we therefore gave him zero chance to survive on his own.

Nosioki's male cub

Nosioki's male cub

Having mysteriously survived the lethal poison, the Lion Guardians have been on the lookout for him. His tracks have consistently been seen by our Lion Guardian Sitonik, but because he stayed on his own for so long we were still concerned for his future. Despite the fact that the elders banned poisoning in the area, our investigations revealed that another product called Red cat, which is used to eradicate rodents and is easily available in Kenya, has reportedly been used on cats to cause maximum death. It has also been tested by people in the area on dogs to deadly effect!

Sitonik with Nosioki's poisoned daughter

Sitonik with Nosioki's poisoned daughter

As a result of the on-going short rains, Osewan area has received a substantial amount of rain, causing an influx of both livestock and people. Lion Guardians were instructed to be extra vigil. A few days ago, Sitonik reported seeing clear tracks of Pua, who was the male in Nosioki’s pride, with a cub moving away from the area towards the hills. This is a very important revelation because the male cub will now stand a better chance of survival under the custody of his father than on its own! We will continue to keep you updated on his progress.

Pua

Pua

Conflict-resolution meeting after Nosioki killing

After the poisoning of Nosioki and her cub, there was a meeting yesterday in Matapato to discuss the incident. People were calm since the two suspects that had been arrested a few days prior were released on the eve of the meeting in a surprise move by KWS. Before the release the Group Ranch was furious, they didn’t know arrests were possible due to the fact that previously, 3 lions had been killed in this area with no arrests made. Therefore, they were very happy for the release.  The elders from the Group Ranch where the suspects come from begged for forgiveness of the conservationists present ( MPT, Big Life Foundation, Lion Guardians, and KWS) while vowing such an incident will never take place again. They decried the act saying it was cowardly and has no place in the Maasai tradition, saying instead ’when a brave Maasai is annoyed he uses his spear’.

Conflict-resolution meeting

Conflict-resolution meeting

During the meeting, the elders revealed that a few months ago unbeknownst to us, they decided to set aside Osewan (a thicket full of different wildlife species) as a conservancy with an elected committee in order to receive an income. They invited several conservation stakeholders present (those mentioned above) to work closely with them to help increase levels of tolerance towards wildlife and to develope this fledgling conservancy still in its nascent stage. They announced to all and sundry that they will curse anyone who will use poisoning within their territory and will hand him over to the authorities for possible prosecution. Two District Wardens present also decried the use of poison and lion killing in the area in general.

Cremation of Nosioki and her cub

Cremation of Nosioki and her cub

Leaders from both Olgulului Group Ranch and Mailua Group Ranch were present in the well attended meeting that recognized the critical role and vigilance by the Lion Guardians in the field. This was a very good meeting considering the usual tempers that flare wherever the agenda is livestock-lion related. We left the meeting with mixed feelings, worried with the precedent that will be set by the sudden release of suspects but buoyed by the glimmer of hope that a  conservancy will bring to the future of the area. Whether this will happen or not, only time will tell.

Nosioki and cub are dead

My fears have now been validated. I regret to inform you that Nosioki, our motherly female lioness is no more! A few days ago, I wrote about the lion-livestock conflict in Osewan. This area has been of great concern to the Lion Guardians given the fact that it is just outside of Lion Guardian zones, on a neighboring Group Ranch, where the environment is rife with conflict. Lions have consistently been killing livestock in this thick area which was acting as a sanctuary for both livestock and wildlife. However, yesterday, 7 weak sheep that usually graze nearby got lost. They were found dead having been killed by hyenas based on the pattern of the killing. The carcasses were then laced with a white substance that is known to originate from Tanzania.

Poisoned sheep carcass

Poisoned sheep carcass

In the early hours of the morning, Nosioki and her cubs came across the carcasses and ate. The first female cub died instantly and our Lion Guardians found her and reported it immediately.

Lion Guardian Sitonik with Nosioki's dead cub

Lion Guardian Sitonik with Nosioki's dead cub

As they were relaying the information to us, Nosioki was kicking and taking her last breath. We found her dead shortly thereafter. Two vultures that had been perched on top of a nearby tree, later dropped dead, as well as countless flies. We assembled all the sheep, vultures and lion carcasses and burned them in order to prevent anymore death.

Sitonik with Nosioki

Sitonik with Nosioki

One male cub was still alive in the thicket and he ran away from us as we approached, a sign of being alert. Pua Mederi, the big male lion in the pride was fortunately not around and the cub might have been lucky. Our Lion Guardians are out today to look for his signal. However, with the male cub being barely a year, his fate is almost certain to be over.

The picture of Nosioki with her head facing down was clearly a sight to behold! I have never seen anything like this before. This was not just another lion to me. It was Nosioki, an individual that has been known to us for the last two years. She was part of the pride of Eselenkei community and owing to her good reputation of not killing livestock she was well liked. However, recently, since moving to a new area less tolerant of wildlife in general and predators in particular, she developed a trait of being a constant livestock killer.

Sitonik and Eric with Nosioki

Sitonik and Eric with Nosioki

Personnel from Kenya Wildlife Service later joined us but did not take any action saying the area is out of their Amboseli jurisdiction. The culprit is well known so we urge that action be taken against him- The killing has to stop. Without any action being taken against the culprit, many predators will disappear since this is the fourth lion to be killed in the area. Already, the future of Amboseli National Park hangs in the balance as animal migratory corridors and dispersal areas are being sold off. Add this to a continuous and systematic decimation of the dwindling lion population due to poisoning across the border in Tanzania and on the outlying Group Ranches, the fear of Amboseli becoming one big dust bowl will soon be real. God forbid!

Lion Guardians urgently need  your help and support to expand into this critical area. Please take a few minutes to make a donation now, and help the Lion Guardians protect other lions from the same fate of Nosioki and her cubs.

Another Lion Is Killed In Tanzania

For several weeks , Kip (a collared male lion that lives around Amboseli N. P.) has terrorized Maasai bomas on the Tanzania border. After killing livestock in Tanzania on several consecutive nights, it was clear there was a predictable pattern.  He has been the target of several hunts but has luckily escaped unscathed.  However, the anger towards him increased ten-fold when, at one of these hunts, he retaliated and injured one Moran before escaping. In another hunt two bullets missed him by a whisker and he crossed back over into Kenya. Anger about his attacks did not decrease, despite the fact that he was no longer in the area. To these pastoralists, getting rid of problem lions is the only rational economic response to a costly nuisance. The lingering anger culminated last week with the death in Tanzania of an adult male lion who wasn’t Kip.

We suspect the lion killed was one of Tato's young males (the two lighter lions)

We suspect the lion killed was one of Tato's young males (the two lighter lions). Tato herself was killed in Tanzania in April.

Several lions went into a boma in Tanzania and killed a cow.  Kip’s previous incursions caused tolerance levels to reach their limits, so this cow’s death resulted in the morans organizing a lion hunt.  An adult male was killed, and the other lions got away. The dead male lion has yet to be identified but we believe that it may be a member of Tato’s pride – who are also usually resident in Amboseli park and whom many of you have most likely seen on your trips to Amboseli (Tato herself was killed earlier this year in Tanzania in a similar scenario).  The authorities in Tanzania were notified of this recent incident both before (when the hunt was being organized) and after (once the lion had been killed).

The dead lion after the trophies have been removed

The dead lion after the trophies have been removed

There exist different wildlife legal regimes in both countries:

The Tanzanian laws are tolerant of lion killing by community members and all that the community is required to do is to relay the information of the conflict to the relevant government authorities. Permission to kill the problem lion is granted provided community members bring back the lion trophies (teeth, paws, mane, skin and tail) to the authorities.

Kenya, owing to the critical position it finds itself with regards to rapidly decreasing lion numbers, has tight rules and regulations, and lion killing is not tolerated except in extreme situations.

However, we have been recording increasing numbers of  lion deaths in Tanzania through either poisoning or spearing, of lions usually resident in Kenya. There is an urgent need for solutions to be found and implemented along the Tanzanian/Kenyan border if further lion deaths are to be prevented. The recent cross-boundary community meetings (coordinated by the African Wildlife Foundation and attended by all the local stakeholders, including Lion Guardians, Big Life Foundation (through MPT and Honeyguide Foundation) ,Enduimet WMA,  TAWIRI, and KWS) concluded that conflict mitigation needs to be enhanced and tolerance levels towards lions improved or else very soon the entire Amboseli ecosystem will find itself without any lion population to talk about.

In July 2011, we began to expand the Lion Guardian program into southern Olgulului, an area where at least 12 lions had been killed in the first half of the year.  Since we began our expansion into that area, no further lions have been killed.  We would now like to expand our reach to the area south of the Kenya/Tanzania border.  Please do your part by helping to fund our expansion into this critical area. CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT LION GUARDIANS.  I, the Lion Guardians, and the fewer than 100 remaining adult lions in the area thank you in advance for your support!

Recent lion killings in Tanzania

For the past month, conservationist within the Amboseli ecosystem were jubilant following the arrest in Tanzania of an infamous elephant poacher who managed to escape with a broken elbow after two of his accomplices were killed in Kenya as they try to waylay a herd of elephants armed with an automatic rifle. The network of informers from both countries, working in conjunction with authorities and MPT’s Big Life Foundation supported community game scouts, played a critical role in bringing to account one of the most wanted gang leaders along this porous stretch of border. It as a welcome relief for elephant lovers that the 22 years of poaching activities for this feared criminal are finally over.

But no sooner had we finished celebrating than another incident reared its ugly head. Two lions who are known to frequent Amboseli National Park in Kenya were poisoned with Furadan just one kilometer into Tanzania

In the first incident, a female lion was poisoned after killing a cow. The culprits removed her skin, teeth and claws. These valuable parts are worth a lot of money on the black market. Four hyenas and a vulture also died after feeding on the carcass of the poisoned lion.

The Lion's carcass

The Lion's mutilated carcass

Then, on January 18th, four lions (a large maned male and three sub-adult females) killed a milking cow belonging to the same owner as the first incident. The dead cow was skinned and several slabs of meat were removed, sprinkled with Furadan and then placed on ‘strategic” paths and trails for “maximum impact”.  The remainder of the carcass was poisoned and left for scavengers.  Many people first thought all the four lions ate the poisoned meat but our investigations revealed otherwise. It seems that only the male lion returned to the carcass. He ate the meat and died shortly thereafter.  Once again, the skin, teeth and claws were removed from his body, after which the culprits sprinkled more Furadan over the remains!  The three lucky females were later seen resting under a tree and looked healthy and completely oblivious to what had happened to their male companion. Our Lion Guardian team’s investigation found that the lion tracks before the incident showed these lions had crossed over form Kenya into Tanzania. We strongly believe that these two dead lions are from Amboseli.

The blue granules of Furadan are visible on the carcass

The blue granules of Furadan are visible on the carcass

Even though the incident was first reported to us by AWF supported scouts in Tanzania, and the zonal warden of TANAPA in Tanzania as well as a few rangers provided an escort to our investigating Lion Guardian team, these porous border need more than casual monitoring. We appreciate the efforts of KWS Amboseli, but they have their hands full battling the recent serious outbreak in poaching in the region.  The different legal and enforcement regimes from both countries need to be harmonized to more effectively capture and prosecute these killers.  The lack of enforcement by the Tanzanian wildlife authorities with regards to the illegal hunting and killing of different wildlife species leaves a lot to be desired. Already, rumors have been circulating that any Kenyan entering Tanzania to follow up on any incidents will be arrested or beaten-up by the local community. The so-called “East African Community Spirit” is coming under severe testing. As the Lion Guardians have been so effective at mitigating conflict and stopping lion killing in Kenya, we would like to recruit some Lion Guardians on the Tanzanian side of the Amboseli border in an attempt to prevent any further carnivore poisonings.

Photos ©2011 Patrick Sayialel