240527 lion collaring

Night after night, lions were breaking in.

It wasn’t always the same household, and not always the same lions, but the people of Olbili village were running out of patience.

The primary culprit was a lioness struggling to feed her four six-month-old cubs, and livestock in night-time enclosures are easy prey. Big Life compensates these losses, but there is a limit to human tolerance of repeated attacks. After surviving one spear wound, it was only a matter of time before she ended up dead.

We are grateful to Lion Guardians for tracking and identifying her, and to the community who agreed to let her stay in the area, so long as she was fitted with a GPS satellite collar (also supplied by Lion Guardians).

Big Life meanwhile had two mobile units working in the area to contain the conflict. Once she was found in a suitable place for darting, a quick response from Kenya Wildlife Service meant that the collaring operation happened smoothly, and she was soon reunited with her cubs.

Her location will now be broadcast to both Lion Guardians and Big Life’s radio room, so we can intercept her whenever she gets too close to community areas, keeping her alive and out of trouble.

This seemingly straightforward outcome is a culmination of decades of hard work and community relationship building by Big Life and Lion Guardians. By responding quickly to conflicts and community needs, we have slowly earned enough time and tolerance to allow problems to be solved, rather than speared.