Nairobi National Park is likely one of the most visited protected areas in all of Africa, home to wildlife including lions and other big cats that are possibly viewed by more people than any others in Africa. Yesterday morning, six lions were killed just outside the protected area. Big Cats Initiative Grantee Dr. Paula Kahumbu is dedicated to protecting and conserving big cats and other wildlife throughout this region. She provides the following dispatch from the field:
by Dr. Paula Kahumbu, WildlifeDirect and the Big Cats Initiative
Yesterday morning’s killing of six lions just 15 kilometers south of the Nairobi Park has sparked outrage in the Kenyan news and the news has gone global sparking huge debate. These weren’t any old lions, they are all individually known lions The two females (AF3 and AF4) and their cubs, two juveniles and two young cubs.
The local communities argue that their losses of livestock are not taken seriously by the Government authorities. The Government has threatened to arrest those responsible for killing the lions which has only hardened the community stand. This morning a local elder told me angrily that he was ready to go to jail – for saving his community’s livelihood.
WildlifeDirect, working with the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative has been discussing the challenges with the local communities and seeking a lasting solution that will enable people to benefit from living lions to secure their future in this landscape. We are exploring how to secure adequate land for lions.