Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Death Of One Lion, Must Give Hope Of Life To Other Lions


Lions are being lost to poaching and human wildlife conflict across Kenya and Africa


The recent death of infamous lion 'Cecil' in Zimbabwe has without a doubt created an international campaign for justice against animal cruelty. It was really heartbreaking to read how he was lured out of the park and then hunted. I can only hope that with this global outcry, social pressure and media coverage, that governments across the world will now begin to make drastic changes to hunting policies, increase their conservation funding to acquire more land for wildlife and also enhance wildlife protection.

Sadly the story of Cecil is not the first, nor will it be the last. The truth is that lions in Kenya have also been facing a hard struggle for survival. Hunting is not legalised here, however illegal hunting, poaching and revenge killings are on the rise year after year. 

In 2012 one of the few lions i have been monitoring in the Tsavo East / Ngutuni area was brutally murdered using poison by cattle herders. The herders would illegally sneak cattle into the national park for better pastures and if any of their cows or goats fell victim to a predator attack, they would poison the carcass to vengefully try and kill the perpetrator. Consequently the predator who innocently followed its instinct to hunt within its territory and any scavengers that fed on the poisoned meat would face a horrific and tragic cycle of death.

It especially hits you hard when a lion you have spent alot of time with becomes a victim. 'Scar face' and i had a special bond. For days on end i would sit and watch him for hours, studying his behaviour and following his daily life routines. Tsavo East is famous for maneless lions yet, 'Scar Face', had a fully grown mane similar to the types found in Mara lions, hence making him one of a kind in the park. 

I truly hope that the death of One Lion Cecil, will create a voice for all the other Lions facing human wildlife conflict struggles across Africa.


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