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    Kenya Breaking News

    Six lions killed by herders

    Six lions were killed on Saturday by Kenyan herders after the pride attacked 11 goats and a dog the previous night, wildlife officials said, in the latest incident of human-wildlife conflict in the country.

    The killings came a day after a lion believed to be the world’s oldest in the wild was speared by herders when he wandered into a livestock pen on the outskirts of the famed Amboseli National Park.

    “A total of 10 lions (have been) killed in the Amboseli ecosystem” since last week, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement, adding that officials had met with community members to discuss the issue.

    “The discussions centered on exploring ways to minimise the risk of human-wildlife conflict, including developing early warning systems to alert communities of the presence of wildlife in their vicinity,” the statement said.

    “The KWS officials engaged the community in an effort to find lasting solutions that will address the conflict while protecting both human lives and wildlife.”

    Reports of wildlife straying into human habitats in Kenya have increased in recent years as the animals come under growing pressure from cities expanding into ancient migration and hunting grounds.

    On Friday, Loonkito, an iconic 19-year-old male lion, was speared to death by Maasai morans (warriors) after he left the park in search of food.

    KWS in 2021 described Loonkito as a “legendary big cat warrior” who had defended his territory for over a decade.

    Conservation group Lion Guardians eulogised Loonkito as “a symbol of resilience and coexistence” and said he was “the oldest male lion in our ecosystem and possibly in Africa.”

    In July 2021, a lion caused panic after straying from its habitat in Nairobi National Park into a crowded neighbourhood during morning rush hour.

    The park is just seven kilometres (four miles) from the heart of Kenya’s capital, and incidents of animals escaping the grassy plains and wandering into the chaotic metropolis of more than four million people are not unheard of.

    In December 2019, a lion mauled a man to death just outside the park, while in March 2016 another cat was shot dead after attacking and injuring a nearby resident.

    Just a month before that, in February 2016, two lions spent a day wandering through Kibera, a densely packed city slum, before returning to the park, and days later more lions were spotted in town.

    There are an estimated 2,500 lions in Kenya, according to the country’s first-ever national wildlife census conducted in 2021.

    Source: AFP

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