Herders in Kenya have killed six lions, days after killing one of Kenya’s oldest lions.
Wildlife service of Kenya said that six lions killed a goat and a canine in villages near Amboseli National Park, in the south.
The lions were speared on Saturday. Three days earlier, a male lion aged 19 named Loonkiito had been killed by herders who found him wandering outside the national park looking for food.
Richard Bonham said that the rangers of the Big Life Foundation Kenya tried to disperse the nine lions who had attacked the dogs and goats at the homestead but six refused to leave.
Kenya Wildlife Service representatives, police, and a veterinarian arrived at the scene. It was decided to keep the remaining lions in the Big Life Foundation until the next night.
Mr Bonham stated: “Overnight, tensions escalated as dozens of people broke the compound fence and speared all six lions.
Many of the people in the crowd had spears and any intervention from KWS, Kenya Police Service or Big Life could have escalated an already volatile situation and resulted almost certainly in injury or death.
This tragic but isolated incident, while we are relieved that no one was injured, is a stark illustration of the challenges faced in coexistence between humans and wildlife.
Ten lions have been killed in the last week by herders, a blow for conservation efforts and the tourism industry.
Humans are moving into animal habitats as urbanization expands. This causes animals to wander onto private property in search of food.
Conflicts between humans and animals
Kenyan conservation groups and the government have an incentive program for herders who lose their livestock to wild animals. People are also encouraged to call wildlife services when they see wandering lions, instead of killing them.
East Africa is experiencing the worst drought it has experienced in decades. Herders are therefore especially protective of their animals.
The wildlife service stated that it met with local residents to try and find a solution to the conflict. However, it did not specify what had been agreed.