6 March 2017

Kenya: KWS Hunt Lions Terrorising Kilifi Residents

Kilifi residents are living in fear after a pride of lions on the loose roams villages in Bamba ward leaving behind a trail of destruction.

In two weeks, the lions are said to have killed over six cows and 23 goats even as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) assured residents efforts are being made to drive the wild animals back to Tsavo East National Park where they strayed from.

According to KWS officer in charge of the park, George Osuri, rangers based at the Bamba work station have been dispatched to Ndharako and Shirango villages, where locals reported having spotted the animals.

Learning activities at the only primary school in Gede location has been disrupted after many parents pulled their children from the institution for fear of their children being attacked.

The children, according to Jira Primary School deputy head teacher Franklin Kalume, have reported of hearing lions roaring in the bushes as they go to or leave the school.

"We changed reporting time from 8am to 9am and the pupils also leave the school at 4:30pm. Pupils have reported to me that they have seen the lions on their way to school and so we need to protect them," said Mr Kalume.

Due to prolonged drought, cases of human-wildlife conflict especially in villages neighbouring the park are expected to rise as wild animals look for food and water.

"We are contemplating setting up baits and traps so that we can trap and capture all wild animals that have strayed out back to the park. I want to assure locals that KWS will do all it can to reduce this conflict," said Mr Osuri.

According to him, all locals whose livestock was killed by wild animals can seek compensation from the government.

At the weekend, Ndharako and Shirango residents in Bamba, Kilifi County said they were living in fear after the pride of about eight marauding lions killed several livestock.

Shirango village elder Barisa Thise said the lions pose a great danger to the community which is yet to recover from devastating effects of hunger as a result of the prolonged drought.

"KWS has the responsibility to tame the lions. They have failed to protect my people with their livestock instead they are using government resources to move around harassing innocent people searching for game meat," Bamba ward representative Daniel Mangi said.


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