In addition to monitoring the activities of lions and serving as community spokesmen to discourage the hunting of lions, local Maasai warriors working through the Lion Guardians program are also tasked with mitigating human-lion conflict. The Lion Guardians frequently work with local communities to inform herders of areas occupied by lions, train ranchers how to properly protect and corral their livestock, and assist in tracking down lost livestock. Yesterday, for example, a local livestock owner reported to the Lion Guardians that one of his favorite, and heavily pregnant, cows had been lost in the bush. The Lion Guardians immediately set out to locate the cow, spending the next several hours trudging through dense vegetation. After spotting hyena tracks next to those of the cow and fearing the worst, the Lion Guardians were relieved to finally find the cow…and her newborn calf. Mokoi, one of the Lion Guardians involved in the search and rescue, is shown in the photo above carrying the calf back to its owner.
Thankfully, as a result of the strong partnership that the Lion Guardians have developed with local ranchers and communities, this potential human-lion conflict was successfully mitigated. However, these situations often end badly for local pastoralists and local lions. Ranchers that do not properly corral and protect their livestock often lose cattle to lions, and in retribution often hunt down these lions using spears or by poisoning animal carcasses. The Lion Guardians, however, are working to prevent these fatal situations.
Learn more about Panthera's Project Leonardo.