Six more lions speared to death by Kenyan herders just days after death of one of country’s oldest lions | world news

Six lions have been killed by herders in Kenya, just days after one of the country’s oldest lions was also fatally targeted.

The six lions had killed goats and a dog in villages near Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya, the country’s wildlife service said.

They were speared to death on Saturday, three days after a 19 year old male lion named Loonkiito was also killed by shepherds after wandering outside the national park in search of food.

Speaking about Saturday’s deaths, Richard Bonham, executive chairman of Big Life Foundation Kenya, said the organization’s rangers tried to disperse a group of nine lions after they attacked the goats and dog on a farm, but six had refused to leave.

Police, a veterinarian and representatives of the Kenya Wildlife Service arrived on the scene and it was decided that the remaining lions should be kept in the Big Life Foundation compound until the following night when they could leave safely in the dark.

Mr Bonham said: “As the day progressed, a crowd continued to build and tensions escalated as dozens broke through the enclosure fence, spearing the six lions.

“Many members of the crowd were armed with spears, and any intervention by the KWS, the Kenya Police Service or Big Life would have risked escalating an extremely volatile situation and would almost certainly have resulted in injury or death.

“While we are relieved that there were no human injuries, this isolated but tragic incident is a stark illustration of the challenges faced in ensuring coexistence between humans and wildlife.”

This photo shows the 19-year-old lion Loonkiito, who was killed last week. Photo: AP

A total of 10 lions were killed by ranchers last week – a blow to conservation efforts and the country’s important tourism industry.

As urban settlements expand, humans move into animal habitats, leaving animals increasingly likely to stray onto private lands in search of food.

Conflict between humans and animals

The Kenyan government and conservation groups have a compensation program for herders whose livestock are killed by wild animals, and people are encouraged to call the wildlife service when they see a wandering lion, rather than To kill him.

But East Africa is also experiencing its worst drought in decades, so herders are particularly protective of their livestock.

The wildlife service said it had met with the local community to try to find a response to the growing conflict, but it did not say what, if anything, had been agreed.


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