Hearders have speared six lions to death after claiming they had been killing their livestock.
Residents in Amboseli National Park in Kenya’s south killed the lions only a few days after one of the oldest big cats in the country was also killed.
According to Kenya’s wildlife services, the lions had reportedly been attacking animals in the village, including a dog and some goats.
On Saturday (May 14), the herders speared the six to death.
Their killings come just days after Loonkiito, a 19-year-old male lion was killed after leaving his wildlife reserve on the hunt for a meal.
Richard Bonham, executive chairman of Big Life Foundation Kenya has since spoken out about the deaths, explaining that six lions out of a group of nine had refused to leave after efforts to disperse them.
The nine had been attacking the animals in the village and efforts to move them on had only succeeded in getting rid of three.
Officials arrived at the scene of the blighted homestead, including representatives from Kenya Wildlife Service and a vet, Sky News reports.
They concluded the best plan of action was to put the lions in the compound of the nearby Big Life Foundation and then let them go later when it was dark.
Mr Bonham said: “Over the course of the day, a crowd continued to build, and tensions spilled over as dozens of people broke through the compound fence, spearing all six lions.
“Many members of the crowd were armed with spears, and any intervention by KWS, the Kenya Police Service, or Big Life would have risked escalation of an extremely volatile situation, and almost certainly resulted in human injury or death.
“While we are relieved there were no human injuries, this isolated but tragic incident is a harsh illustration of the challenges in ensuring co-existence between human and wildlife.”
Increasing expansion from human settlements has seen the worlds of people and lions collide more and more, forcing them to compete for food and space.
The latest events bring the total number of lions slain up to 10 in the last week alone.
This article by Harry Thompson was first published by The Daily Star on 15 May 2023. Lead Image: Residents claimed they were attacking their livestock (stock) (Image: Getty Images).
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