Ambassador Lioness Severely Wounded

Jun 19, 2011 | Categories: Lions | 8 Comments

Our favorite local lion, Magilani, has been critically injured. We don’t yet know how she was injured or what her outlook is. But she is alive and she is with her two cubs, and she can move around. We are doing everything we can to find her and assess the situation and her status. Here’s what has happened so far.

Magilani seen with sever injuries of an unknown source, possibly gunshot.

On Monday, we drove to Arusha, Tanzania for the ATBC-SCB Conference (Assoc. for Tropical Biology and Conservation & Society for Conservation Biology Conservation Africa Section). Just as we were settling in we got a call that a severely wounded lion had been spotted in the Conservation Area just next to our camp. Trying to get all the facts and coordinate everyone involved from Tanzania was next to impossible, so we decided to pack up, cancel our participation in the conference and rush back to Samburu.

At the time, we didn’t know which lion was injured. Based on photos taken by a guest at Sasaab Lodge, we couldn’t ID the lion or decide with certainty how she was injured, but we could see bloody wounds on her right chest and right foreleg. However, it was hard to really assess her status from photos alone and we really needed to see her.

On Friday our hearts sank when we found the lion and confirmed it was Magilani, the lioness who lives with her two adolescent cubs in the Conservation Area in Westgate Community Conservancy. We were the first people to see and ID her and have been monitoring her for the past 2+ years. She serves as an ambassador lion and has become famous among the community.

She is lucky to be with her cubs who are old enough to make kills on their own and hopefully help her feed. She disappeared again on Saturday, but with the help of Sasaab Lodge and the scouts of Westgate, we are spending every possible moment looking for her.

Given the ecological importance of this small lion population, and the many threats causing its decline, each and every individual is invaluable. This is why it is so essential that we focus our efforts on ensuring Magilani’s well-being and safety.

We will continue to keep you updated and thank you for your comments and concern.


Above images courtesy Paul Munroe.

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8 People have left comments on this post

» Dana said: { Jun 19, 2011 - 08:06:27 }

I pray that you will find Magilani and will be able to help her. It’s good to hear that her cubs are able to hunt and hopefully Magilani will at least get some nurishment from food.

» Donna Wellby said: { Jun 19, 2011 - 11:06:44 }

Is it my imagination or does she look incredibly thin and if so is this since and due to her injury. Hoping to hear good news soon.

» Pirjo said: { Jun 19, 2011 - 11:06:56 }

Isn’t there any way that you could check her injuries and whether you would be able to help her? I know how vital it is to keep every single lion, which is left in Kenya, alive.

Can’t wait for the updates and hoping for the best.

» Shivani said: { Jun 20, 2011 - 04:06:26 }

Thanks for your comments. We’re still searching for her. Its been very tough in the thick bush and rocky habitat of Westgate. But we’re all still out there searching. We have seen her cubs but no sign of her yet.
I’ll keep you posted.

» Jimmy said: { Jun 20, 2011 - 11:06:47 }

This is tragic – though I hope humans had no hand in her suffering!!

» Bonnie Blackmore said: { Jun 21, 2011 - 11:06:53 }

Shivani, my heart is with this lioness and with you as you worry about her safety. Thankfully she has her cubs to help her out and everyone in Westgate community to give her positive energy to recover and lead a long life. Love to you and what you do.

» Dana said: { Jun 24, 2011 - 11:06:48 }

Shivani – Any updates?

» ewasolions said: { Jun 29, 2011 - 05:06:15 }

Hi Dana,
The warriors found 3 sets of tracks 2 days ago across the river. We believe this is Magilani and her 2 boys. One of the tracks had dried blood next to it. We’re waiting for them to cross the river again and then hope to get a good look at Magilani to see how she is recovering. Thanks Dana and I’ll keep you posted! Shivani