Good prognosis on two injured lions as KWS fights to protect diminishing population

November 18, 2018 (5 weeks ago) 10:47 am
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The lions which were part of a 17-member pride are said to have been injured by the buffalos during a hunt/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) veterinary officers have reported good prognosis on two lions injured by buffalos in Ngutuni Conservancy adjacent to the Tsavo East National Park on Saturday.

The lions which were part of a 17-member pride are said to have been injured by the buffalos during a hunt.

According to the wildlife agency, veterinary officers in the area responded swiftly and stitched the wounds inflicted on both lions.

The injured lions are part of about 700 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.

Over the past decade, studies have shown a steady decline in lion population in the country and the continent at large with latest estimates projecting the numbers at about 2,000, down from 2,280 in 2004.

The global lion population is estimated at 20,000.

Some of the factors that have led to the decline in lion population include encroachment into their habitat and human-wildlife conflict with pastoralists often killing lions whenever they attack their livestock.

The conflict has further been fueled by shrinkage of the savannah at an alarming rate of 90 per cent.

“Did you know that there are only about 20,000 lions left in the wild having vanished from over 90 per cent of their range land?” KWS tweeted on August 10 on the occasion of the World Lion Day.

In 2016, studies indicated that the country lost about 100 lions annually.

Habitat loss, reduction of prey base (shrinking savannah), human-carnivore conflicts, poisoning, road accidents, and disease were identified a key triggers of lion deaths.

Lions walk in prides of 10-15 members operating as a family.

Long gestation period of 105 to 110 days means the regeneration of lion population can only be secured by eliminating potential threats to existing ones.

Lionesses give birth to a litter of between two to four cubs.

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