Villagers kill six lions in Kenya

June 21st, 2012 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, June 21 (IANS) As many as six lions have been killed by residents of a village on the outskirts of Kenyan capital Nairobi as human-wildlife conflict escalates in the east African nation.

Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) confirmed the six lions were speared to death by residents at Oloika area in Kajiado County, about 30 km from Nairobi, Tuesday night, Xinhua reported.

KWS Corporate Affairs Manager Paul Udoto said they have launched investigations to ascertain the cause of lions’ deaths and also dispatched rangers and a veterinary capture teams to search for lions.

“The killing is a big loss to the economy given that lions enjoy an iconic status as one of the ‘Big Five’ which are a big draw for tourists who visit Kenya,” Udoto said in a statement issued in Nairobi Wednesday.

Wildlife authorities cite human-wildlife conflict as one of the major causes of declining number of lions and elephants in Kenya.

Carnivores like lions attack livestock which, in turn, causes humans’ retaliation. “This is normally carried out in form of poisoning, spearing and even shooting,” said a wildlife ranger.

Conservationists have blamed habitat destruction, disease and conflict with humans for the lion population’s decline.

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