How Kenyan warriors are protecting lions

Africa’s lions are killed in their thousands for taking cattle. But a collaboration between conservationists and Samburu warriors is preventing the predation and saving the big cats’ lives. 

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Rapid growth in the human population, as well as industrial-scale illegal bushmeat trade, is seeing lions and farmers forced into conflict – the hungry lions will kill cattle, before farmers kill the big cats in retaliation.

With lion numbers in freefall, Samburu warriors and conservationists are working together to save the magnificent species.

Research projects, such as Ewaso Lions, are harnessing the local knowledge of Samburu warriors and training the lion guardians in an effort to protect one of Africa’s most iconic animals.

The warriors are being taught ecology, data collection and GPS collaring technology. 

The exciting partnership has showed encouraging signs so far. For example, farmers have seen their livestock losses plummet by 93 per cent since collaring began, showing that both lions and cattle can thrive side-by-side.

Find out more about the work of the lion warriors in the May 2014 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.

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