NAROK (Xinhua) --
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers on Tuesday
arrested three suspects over the poisoning lions in the world’s
famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok County, southwest
KWS Senior Warden Collins Omondi said the three
are helping the police with investigation into an incident where
some Maasai herders gave the pride of lions meat laced with
poison and eventuality killed them.
Omondi said the suspects were expected to be arraigned in
court on Wednesday to be charged with poisoning wildlife and
illegal entry into the park, among others.
"This is a very unfortunate and sad incident and we are
carrying out investigations in order to ensure all those
involved are brought to book," he said.
Omondi said the herders who had taken their animals into the
Game Reserve to graze were apparently annoyed after the lions
grabbed three of their cows. They then laced the meat from the
dead cows with poison, killing two lions.
A statement from the KWS issued in Nairobi said one of the
two dead lions was identified while the other one had been
mauled by hyenas beyond recognition. The veterinary department
at KWS was carrying out post-mortem examinations to establish
the nature of poison, it added.
The warden said the law was clear on what the herders should
have done if they fill aggrieved by the big cats or any other
wildlife. He said the herders should have filed a case for
compensation instead of taking the law in their hands by killing
Wildlife agency says shocked
by lion poisoning in Kenya
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A wildlife conservation organization has said it
was shocked and saddened by news of fatal lion poisonings in
Kenya’s famous Masai Mara Reserve.
Born Free Foundation CEO Adam M. Roberts said lions were in
"serious decline" and "persecution" was a major threat to their
survival across much of their remaining African range.
"If these issues are not addressed, the terrible prospect of
a Masai Mara without lions will become very real," Roberts said
in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The statement came after two herders poisoned a pride of
lions in Masai Mara Game Reserve on Sunday, resulting in the
death of three lions.
The herders, who had taken their animals into the Game
Reserve to graze, were apparently annoyed after the lions
grabbed three of their cows. They then carried away the
remaining meat from the dead cows, laced it with poison and
brought it back to kill the lions.
The Marsh lion pride featured in the popular BBC television
series "Big Cat Diary" which aired from 1996 to 2008. A male cub
that was missing was later found in good health.
Roberts said the poisoning incident raises serious concerns
about the future for the pride, and reflect wider threats to
lions across much of Africa.
"Lion populations have declined alarmingly in recent years.
In its most recent assessment, the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature suggested that the number of lions
remaining across Africa could be as low as 20,000, and that
lions now occupy as little as 8 percent of their historic
range," Roberts said.
He said as human populations expand into traditional lion
habitats, the predators are often considered a threat to both
people and livestock, and persecution of lions can be intense.
In some areas, deliberate killing, through poisoning, snaring
or shooting, represents a major threat to lion survival.
"Lions are the most social of all the big cats. They rely on
the stability of their prides in order to survive.
The loss of even a few lions in this way will seriously
damage the pride’s ability to function," Roberts said.
"The solutions to human-lion conflict are often relatively
simple, yet lions continue to be targeted, and to suffer slow,
painful and unnecessary deaths," he added.
Born Free works with the Kenyan government and local
communities to implement solutions to the problems of
K.W.S. UPDATES ON LION
POISONING IN THE MARA: