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Lion food has left Nairobi, says KWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) says the recent spate of lions attacking livestock in Ngong and Kitengela has been occasioned by the migration of herbivores from the Nairobi National Park.

Speaking to Capital FM News, KWS spokesman Paul Mbugua said this movement has compelled the lions to seek food outside its boundaries.

He stated that most of those lions which attacked human settlements were females with cubs.

“The reasons why lions are outside the park is that we have had very good rains and as a result of this, herbivores leave the Nairobi National Park to the outside,” he said.

“During the dry season, there is incentive for them to remain in the park and they include availability of water and pasture. When it is wet and there is green grass across the plains, there is no incentive for them to remain in the park,” he stated.

He was speaking on the backdrop of yet another attack on a boma which resulted in the slaughter of 11 goats.

He however said that KWS has deployed teams of rangers to respond quickly to any alert or sighting of the lions.

“The teams are on the ground and we are on the trail of these two lionesses. Last (Friday) night one lioness with two cubs was being pursued and at least it went in the direction of the park and we suspect that it came back to the park,” he said.

“Today, the teams were on one lioness again and they were trying to see whether they could capture it but you see, capturing a lion when it is seeing you is not an easy thing,” he explained.

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According to KWS, at least 18 people have been killed by wildlife in the last six months.

65 people had suffered injuries while 598 incidents of crop damage, 496 incidents of humans threatened by wildlife, 176 wild animal attacks on livestock and 18 reports of property destruction had been recorded.

However, the KWS only compensates for human injuries and deaths at a rate of Sh50, 000 and Sh200, 000 respectively.

The Wildlife Bill proposes the rates for consolation of death to be revised further up to Sh1 million. Compensation of property is also set to be incorporated in the Bill.

KWS has been accused by locals of failing to take urgent action when called upon when wild animals stray to their farms.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, Tanta Taveta, Narok, Laikipia, Kajiado and Samburu are the hotspots for human wildlife conflicts.


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