PUBLISHED: 21:04 EST, 20 June 2012 | UPDATED: 02:49 EST, 21 June 2012
- Angry herders claim big cats have killed 28 goats and eight cows in two days
- Attacks on lions take place near the Kenyan capital’s national park
Six lions were speared to death by angry residents after preying on dozens of goats and cows in a settlement near the Kenyan capital’s national park.
Herders in the small township of Kitengela, on the outskirts of Nairobi, ambushed the animals because they said they had been killing their livestock.
The group, who are mainly Maasai pastoralists, said about 28 goats and eight cows had been killed by the marauding lions in the last two days.
Ambushed: Kenya Wildlife Service rangers load the carcasses of six lions speared to death by residents of Kitengela, on the outskirts of Nairobi, who claim they killed their goats and cows
Defending their livestock: The group, who are mainly Maasai pastoralists, said about 28 goats and eight cows had been killed by the marauding lions in the last two days
Francis Kasha, a livestock keeper, whose animals were killed in a previous attack says these types of incidents have been on the increase, forcing herders to find a solution on how to protect their animals.
‘We have witnessed a great tragedy when lions come to eat our goats. This time they came at about 3.30am,’ said Mr Kasha.
‘We gathered as we waited for Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officials to come and catch the lions, but some people became too rowdy and it was impossible to stop them from killing the lions.’
Herders say the KWS, tasked by the government as wildlife custodians, needs to review how they compensate those who lose their animals, which the herders deem as below market value.
Rising problem: Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) have been called on to review how much they compensate people who lose livestock in a bid to stop them taking the law into their own hands
Macabre: Residents of the township of Kitengela pose with spears and machetes with one of the dead lions
Brutal: A lion is manhandled after being speared to death because it was suspected of killing livestock
Mr Kasha said: ‘I am very bitter. Recently I lost 15 goats, and to date, KWS have not been here.
‘I did not kill any lions then, but right now we have been forced to kill the lions and we are feeling very bad because this is national heritage and a source of income for our country.
‘We would like to request KWS officials to work closely with us to prevent such incidents,’ added Kasha.
Human-animal conflict throughout Kenya has been an issue of concern for a long time, with government and other stakeholders putting in measures such as fencing of parks to prevent such occurrences.
Savaged: Some of the livestock which were mauled by the marauding lions after the big cats strayed from the Nairobi National Park
According to KWS, Kenya has been losing 100 lions a year for the past seven years.
Should this continue, Kenya will have no wild lions in the next twenty years.
This scenario is worrying given the big cats’ contribution to the country’s economy through tourism.