By Alex Kiprotich
A lionâs roar is thunderous. Its sight humbles even the elephant. Many tourists have flocked Kenyaâs parks to catch a glimpse of the famed king of the jungle.
Sadly, the king is in trouble. A conservation crisis is ravaging the parks as experts warn that lion is endangered.
Kenya Wildlife Service Senior Scientist in charge of Species Programme Charles Musyoki said the lion is losing its kingdom thanks to the destruction of habitats.
Dr Musyoki said the national lion population has reduced significantly in the last ten years.
"The national lion population has been reducing by an average of 100 lions yearly and it is a cause of worry," he said.
Habitat loss, he noted, has contributed to too little hunting space for lions to survive.
"People have encroached into wildlife territories thus reducing hunting space for lions," he said.
Early this year, five lions killed four cows at Oloolaimutiak in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Residents slaughtered three of the cows and laced the carcasses with poison to lure the lions to their death. And the trick worked. An eight-month-old lion was later found dead just 100 metres away from the carcass.
"This is common especially in Laikipia and in other game reserves which border pastoralists," he said.
Human- wildlife conflict has increased due to the drought ravaging parts of the country.
"The contact between lions and the people have increased over the years and has manifested into deadly clashes," he said. Human encroachment on reserves has led to the gradual decline of other wild animals that lions feed on.