KWS captures lioness, two cubs in city suburb
Kenya Wildlife Service have recaptured a lioness and her two cubs found roaming in Mukoma Road area in Lang'ata. Reliable sources said the lioness is the same one captured in early May. She escaped from the holding pen at the KWS headquarters after chewing through the wiring two weeks ago. Once she escaped, she returned to Mukoma road in an effort to reunite with her cubs and was subsequently spotted.
Michael Mbithi of the Nairobi Park Lions project said: “This is actually the second time such a thing has happened. In 2005 a lion named Adimu also escaped from the vet holding facility and made his way through the Safari Walk all the way to Athi Kapiti plains in 24 hours.” The lioness and her two cubs are currently at the veterinary holding facility awaiting a decision on relocation. In the meantime, a search is ongoing for a suspected third cub that was with the lioness that wasn’t captured.
The Nairobi National Park fence line has been breached by lions in the recent past as they seek safer territory for their cubs. The fence line has been vandalised in some areas, according to sources, and in other cases warthogs have dug under the fence, leaving open spaces for the lions to roam out.Elsewhere, farmers in Empakasi, Kitengela plains, Kajiado County, are counting loses after some 20 stray lions from the Nairobi National Park invaded their farms and ate more than 80 goats and eight cows in the last three weeks.
The lions attempted again to kill many more yesterday morning but they were driven away by Maasai morans after the big cats killed one heifer belonging to Joseph Matunke. Mzee Matunke said the lions descended on his home in Empakasi as early as 5am and broke open the gates into his cow shed but morans who have taken to guarding their livestock arrived almost immediately and fought off the cats. Already one of the lions had killed one heifer.
Residents said the lions have been attacking the livestock since the end of last month and that their attempts to deliver their grievances to the Kenya Wildlife Service has never materialised. "We have been calling them but they do not respond to our grievances. What we want is the protection of our livestock," said Peter Senteu. James Turere, the chairman of Kitengela Elparkuo Land Owners Association, who was present at Mzee Matunke's home warned KWS that the farmers will be forced to act against the lions if they will not come and protect their livestock. "We have waited for so long for the government to pass a Wildlife Bill on compensation that is expected to help the farmers living along the wildlife corridors. Our people solely depend on livestock and if the big cats are left to kill their cows and goats at that rate, then their lives will be in danger," said Turere.
Early in the year, morans from a neighbouring village of Shorinke killed three lions after they had attacked their livestock. Their action caused the KWS officials to act immediately. At that time officials from the KWS visited the scene and promised the farmers that they will be paid consolation fees for the loses they incurred after the lion attacks on their livestock. They were later paid some Sh5 million which the KWS said was a consolation fee.
Currently, there is no law that governs compensation of eaten livestock by wildlife and the KWS and their friends from the diaspora have been engaged in raising funds abroad for the purposes of consolation fees for farmers in Kajiado county and other parts where wildlife share water and grazing resources.