Not for the first time. Not for the second time and neither the third but for the fourth time in a month have the Kings of The Jungle left their homes to come and pay visitations to the good people of The City Under The Sun,the only city in the world with a game park. Am talking about lions which have left the Nairobi National Park four times this month. You ask why? I can give many theories some you may have guessed.
What angered me as a biologist most and a Kenyan who is concerned most about our handling of wildlife in this great nation is the killing of the celebrity lion,christened Mohawk The Ladies’ Man, yesterday by people whose sole role is to protect our parks.
There is a video I watched of the famed Mohawk being shot first on its front leg then the stomach then seven other times and you can even hear him roar in pain and anger. Apparently,the lion was shot dead because he had attacked one of the many idle humans who had surrounded it,taunting and shouting threateningly. What in the name of jumping Jehovah’s was he supposed to do after being surrounded? Beg for mercy from the crowd? No. As king it would not even happen. Fight for freedom or at least die trying. Then came the KWS wardens who rather than sedate him and take him to his natural home,they took him to his creator.
Questions should be asked on why lions are breaching the fenced park more frequently lately.Maybe it is true the crossing Standard Gauge Railway has created a gap in the electric fence but maybe it has brought a bigger gap between the predators and their prey creating a shortage of food. Lions must eat,meat, so they are moving out of the park to look for prey. There is also that theory of them following ‘old migratory routes’ which are bringing them on collision course with humans.
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with wacky and totally absurd stories of how wardens are chasing the animals out of the park so they attack humans so that they can support a move to have the animals moved from Nairobi to other parks. Some are even suggesting a meeting held between lions and interested parties to come up with these measures. I disagree but then again,this is Kenya. Anything is possible.
Science would say animals migrate in search of food,mates or expansion of their territory, increase of wastes or maybe even a search for adventure (lol) but I know you know we are the greatest enemies to all animals with our activities and am sorry there is actually do to stop it because of the ever increasing population. Maybe those arguing that the park be moved elsewhere have a point though it may not be the solution but somehow it will help the animals which are frequently having us interrupt and spoil their adventure.
I am still livid that that ranger shot the lion. Whatever the reason KWS will give will always look like an excuse. We have less than 2000 lions in our nation and to think that they have a very low birthrate. We are facing a situation where in the near future we may have no lions in our parks if appropriate action is not taken.