Conflict: Maasai morans kill 10 lions in one week
By - May 20th 2023
The government has been urged to address the escalating human-wildlife conflict in Kajiado County.
At the same time, a section of Kajiado South residents is appealing to the government to release youths who were arrested for allegedly killing ten lions at an Oloitoktok conservancy in the space of one week.
The residents pleaded that the morans who were arrested had no ill motive but were provoked by the lions after they attacked and killed their livestock.
In three separate incidents, the locals speared to death the lions, prompting Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officers to hold a crisis meeting in the area and launch intense patrols.
Last Saturday, angry locals overpowered KWS officers and killed six lions in broad daylight in a retaliation attack after a pride of lions attacked and killed 11 sheep and a dog at a homestead in Mbirikani.
Armed with spears and other crude weapons, agitated locals gained forceful entry to Big Life Foundation headquarters killing six lions as KWS and police officers helplessly watched.
According to Big Life Foundation, the lions were among the nine that killed sheep before straying to the conservancy which is a few metres away.
In a video obtained by The Nairobian, the morans are seen chasing the cats into a fence, spearing them to death. Local leaders have since been blamed for organizing the retaliation coup. They are said to have spied on the lions before killing them.
A few days before the six lions were speared to death, another lion believed to be the oldest in the Amboseli National Park was also killed by irate villagers.
The lion nicknamed Longido, which had been preying alone since 2017 after being isolated by others, had strayed into a farmer’s home before being speared to death.
Following the killings, the government held a crisis meeting at Imbirikani ranch and attended by a handful of government officials including Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza, KWS Director General Dr Erustus Kanga, Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, and Kajiado County Commissioner Felix Watikila.
Addressing the gathering, Malonza said the government was struggling to raise Sh 5.6 billion owed to the pastoralist as compensation.
“As a government, we are aware that we owe pastoralists more than Sh 5.6 billion, however, we are working very hard to look for the money,” said Malonza.
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