This project idea is to be the beginning of a proper lion rehabilitation programme, which WildiZe and Nana Gross-Woodley
, with the assistance of Danny Woodley and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have been discussing for years, and which Kenya is certainly in need. We are at an advantage as KWS does not know a what to do with all orphan or trapped lions... There are so many cubs that could not be released ever again if not raised with a larger pride, and simply opening a satellite orphanage would simply compound the current problem.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has given us the go ahead for a lion rescue centre within Tsavo West, but are still discussing the taste aversion idea, as it has to go through all levels and boards... So we are still working on that, but are still very positive! Two more lion traps are out as there are two more stock killers on the group ranches... It is a huge break-through though to have the green light for the rescue centre and by the looks of it we might have our hands very full within the coming week.
9-21-10- (written by Danny Woodley)
I have had two very long days - came back from Nairobi to find out there was a young lion in a trap here. Was told it was a female... So went and looked at it, transferred it in its crate to my house for it to have more peace and quiet. The vet came today and we darted it to examine it more closely. It had killed 14 goats, which is why it had been trapped. Plan was to get it healthy and then free release it into the park, which I have been fighting for and got the go ahead. During the operation however it turned out that the female indeed was a male and younger than we thought - he is no more than two years old as his mane is just beginning to grow. Finding out he is not a she came as quite the blow, as we all know a male of his age does not stand much of a chance on his own out there, which is why he turned to killing goats in the first place.
After the vet left, Nana was sitting by the crate feeling totally disheartened and wondering what to do.... rehabilitations cannot be done half way, and we are losing so many lions all across Africa, it is becoming a desperate situation.
Then Nana had a bit of a crazy idea and spent hours on the phone to Danny, a construction firm, the vet and various other people - and after some persuasion, they all started to see the sense in Nana's idea- The only real way forward for this lion is to build him a big enclosure inside the park, away from humans and livestock, feed him up, let him get bigger so he stands a fighting chance, and try to get 2 females from the Nairobi orphanage - which is overflowing with lions so much they are housing them in crates and are crying for help - to then release them as a pride.