Ten lions, including the world's oldest, killed after attacking nearby animals

Nairobi, Kenya - Ten lions were killed in Kenya after the wild cats attacked animals in local villages.

After lions attacked livestock in Kenya, herders have killed 10 of the predatory cats in one week (stock image).
After lions attacked livestock in Kenya, herders have killed 10 of the predatory cats in one week (stock image).  © Unsplash/Zdeněk Macháček

A total of ten lions have been killed in Amboseli National Park on the border of Kenya and Tanzania since last week, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said. On Friday, it had become known that one of the world's oldest lions, 19-year-old Loonkito, had been killed by cattle herders.

The service said the lions were sought after by poachers, after they attacked livestock including goats and a dog nearby.

Sightings of wild animals near human habitation have increased in Kenya in recent years, one reason being the spread of cities into the animals' migration and hunting grounds.

Cat siblings are too cute for words during birdwatching session!
Cats Cat siblings are too cute for words during birdwatching session!

KWS said meetings had been organized with local community representatives, and that the talks were about "minimizing the risks of human-wildlife conflict," including developing prevention systems to warn residents of wild animals in their vicinity.

A representative for the World Wildlife Fund Kenya said the "retaliatory killings" prove "human-lion conflict is now an unprecedented crisis," and "we could be facing the extinction of lions in Kenya in our generation."

Incidents with lions cause panic in Kenya

In July, a lion caused panic in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, when it appeared in a busy neighborhood during rush hour. Nairobi National Park is located just four miles from the center of the Kenyan capital.

In December 2019, a lion mauled a man on the edge of the park. In March 2016, a big cat was shot after attacking and killing a local resident. In February 2016, two lions ran through Kibera, a densely populated neighborhood of Nairobi, for an entire day before being returned to the park.

Kenya is home to about 2,500 lions, according to a 2021 national wildlife census.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Zdeněk Macháček

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