A young lion from Elsa’s Pride was rescued by Born Free’s Kenya field team and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) this month, after becoming entangled in a wire snare in Meru National Park.
The sub-adult male, known as Mururi Boy 2, was spotted with the snare embedded into his right hind leg by the Pride of Meru team, who closely monitor Elsa’s Pride and the other lion prides, and can recognise individual animals.
Despite his injury, Mururi Boy 2 disappeared into the bush and it took three days before the team were able to locate him again and call KWS Vet Dr Rono to remove the wire. As they were preparing to tranquilise Mururi Boy 2 with a dart, he dashed back into the undergrowth. As a result, the team had to use the call back method – using the sound of a buffalo in distress played on a speaker – to entice him out again. When he finally emerged, he was successfully sedated and the snare removed. Since the rescue took place after dark, Dr Rono kept him sedated for around two hours before reversing the drug, to ensure that Mururi Boy 2 was able to recover quickly once revived.
Mururi Boy 2 is the second lion to be rescued form a snare in the last four years by Born Free’s Kenya team. His father, George, was found with a wire snare around his neck in 2015. He made a full recovery and is now one of the oldest males in Meru National Park.
Born Free’s Head of Conservation, Dr Liz Greengrass explains: “Mururi Boy 2 was very lucky and has now made a full recovery. Monitoring and documenting the lions in Meru National Park and the wider conservation area has a dual function of generating information on the status of the lion population, which is crucial for their conservation, and providing daily monitoring of individuals, enabling us to alert and assist the Kenya Wildlife Service when their wellbeing is threatened. This incident clearly demonstrates the important role wildlife conservation NGOs have in supporting the managers of protected areas, and reducing the impact of poaching.”
“Elsa’s pride is special to Born Free because they live in Meru National Park, where Elsa the lioness from the book and movie Born Free was returned to the wild by Joy and George Adamson.”