In southern Kenya, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has witnessed a concerning rise in human-wildlife conflict, leading to the killing of ten lions, with six of them being slain in a single day. The KWS spokesperson expressed alarm at this unusually high number of lion killings, following the recent death of Loonkiito, one of Africa’s oldest lions, who, due to hunger, strayed into a livestock pen and was subsequently killed by the owner. The organization Lion Guardians explained that the conclusion of a severe dry spell often triggers increased conflicts between humans and lions as wild prey becomes scarce, making livestock owners more vigilant.

The six lions responsible for the Saturday attacks had killed eleven goats and a dog. These incidents occurred within the Amboseli ecosystem in Kajiado County, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. In response to the conflict, the KWS convened a meeting involving local communities and government officials. The discussions revolved around strategies to minimize human-wildlife conflict, including the development of early warning systems and broader deliberations on community-wildlife coexistence, including benefit sharing. The recent surge in lion killings underscores the urgent necessity of addressing human-wildlife conflict in Kenya. Heightened awareness among communities regarding wildlife presence, along with support for conflict mitigation, must be prioritized. Moreover, sustainable approaches should be implemented to safeguard communities and wildlife.