News Desk : dhakamirror.com
Six lions have been killed by herders in a national park in southern Kenya, in a blow to conservation efforts and the tourism industry which is a key pillar of the nation’s economy.
The killings, which took place close to the Amboseli National Park, came just days after a wild lion, believed to be one of the world’s oldest, was killed in the same national park by herders.
Male Loonkiito, 19, was speared after preying on livestock in the village of Olkelunyiet in Kenya, which borders Amboseli National Park.
Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Jinaro claimed the lion was frail and wandered from the park in search of food.
Authorities have expressed concern after six other lions from the same national park were speared by herders on Saturday after they killed eleven goats in the Mbirkikani area.
Tourism minister Peninah Malonza met locals in Mbirikani area on Sunday and urged them not to spear wandering lions and to instead reach out to the wildlife service.
The government and conservation groups have a compensation program for herders whose livestock is killed by wild animals.
But herders have become more protective after losing livestock to a drought that is one of the worst in decades in the East Africa region.
Conservation group Big Life Foundation’s Craig Miller said the killing of Loonkiito “was unfortunate” as he was the oldest lion in the Amboseli national park.
Wild lions rarely live past 15 years, according to conservationists.