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
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
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
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
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.