A growing and increasingly settled human population means that human/wildlife conflict is on the increase, particularly as former lion ranges have been converted for agriculture and livestock. Additionally, a man was recently arrested with a lion tooth and several claws along the western boundary of the Park, indicating the possible existence of trade in lion parts.
The indiscriminate and widespread use of wire snares is significantly affecting the lions’ natural prey base, such as antelope and gazelle. This consequently leads to lions attacking livestock and thereby escalating the conflict. Furthermore, field reports confirm that lions have also been unintentionally trapped, injured, maimed and sometimes killed.
Snares come in various sizes and are set in different locations depending on the intended target animals. For example, giraffe snares are strategically strung between trees 3 meters or so above the ground. An advance Born Free team recently removed more than 150 deadly wire snares in just a week. Only a sustained, long-term effort can reduce this risk to lions and all other wildlife within the Park.
A new era is dawning for Meru National Park and the MCA. The Lion Rover project, with its targeted approach, delivered by Born Free and KWS, supported by Land Rover, offers real hope for lions in their heartland.
Born Free’s commitment to lions is unshakable. The prospect of Kenya losing its lions is simply unthinkable. It is time for the Lions Rovers to roar!
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