The lion population on the Laikipia commercial ranches is an important source population of lions for the entire region. In the past two years, drought conditions in the wider area have led to some communities encroaching on private lands in the search of grass. This has resulted in increased human-lion conflict, as the lions on the ranches have encountered more livestock. Lions that had rarely or never killed livestock previously began killing them regularly, creating a propensity for killing livestock.
After the rains returned, community livestock herds returned to their traditional grazing grounds, yet the lions continued targeting commercial ranch livestock. This led to many of Laikipia’s lions being seen as ‘problem animals’, ...
The Ewaso Nyiro river is one of the only permanent sources of freshwater in the region. It acts as a vital lifeline both for wildlife and the local people and their livestock. Yet, with no significant rainfall here in several months the river is empty and landscape is getting drier and dustier with each passing day.
Whilst carnivores tend to thrive during the dry season, it can be a challenging time for other species. This month, Ewaso Lions gathered together an enthusiastic team of “diggers”, including Ewaso Lions staff, members of our Warrior Watch and Mama Simba programmes, and several Westgate Conservancy Rangers.
Our mission: to dig waterholes for wildlife and the local community.
We arrived at the dry Ewaso Nyiro Riv...
Last week, we received word that a lion had killed a camel in the Westgate Conservation Area. We went to investigate and found the carcass of an adult female camel.
During the night, the camel and her calf had been chased out of their enclosure (or “boma”) by another camel. She ran into the Conservation Area, where she was killed by the lioness. The calf ran back to the village and was attacked by hyenas. She managed to survive, but suffered some severe injuries.
We went to the village to speak to the owner of the camels. We learned that the boma was in fact left open and the entrances were not entirely covered, which is how the camels easily escaped. We helped treat the camel’s deep gashes.
This was the second lion-camel incident ...
The rains are finally here!!! This is the worst drought that most people can remember. Livestock and wildlife have died in large numbers over the past few months and the river remained dry for most of the year. It has been desperate and the most difficult period that I can remember during my years in Samburu.
One of the last surviving warthogs died a few weeks ago
Digging waterholes in the river for the wildlife
A few weeks ago, we began to see signs of rain. Dark clouds were forming daily and the days were scorching. It eventually began to rain all around us but never quite reached Samburu. The Samburu ladies sang in the river, throwing milk and praying for rain to come. Each day we would look at th...
A few days after the 3 lions killed 3 cows, I was driving in the Conservation Area in West Gate Community Conservancy, when I met the Head of Security patrolling on the main road. He said he had just heard from a herder that a lioness had killed a donkey a few minutes ago.
We drove to the scene approaching slowly so as not to scare away the lioness. We found her hiding in the bushes very scared and nervous. She eventually came out and got used to my presence, and then eventually started feeding on the donkey as it got dark.
Lioness nervously hides in the bushes and watches
Lioness coming out slowly. Notice the donkey at the bottom of the photo.
My first good look at the lioness as she approaches the donkey to start feedin...