Some two lions reported to have strayed from the Nairobi National Park were spotted by traffic police near a major highway in the country’s capital Nairobi today.Traffic police spotted the lions close to a forest near the neighbourhood of Karen – a section of Nairobi named after Karen Blixen, the Danish author of the colonial-era memoir “Out of Africa”.
This is the second time this month that lions have strayed from the park in the outskirts of the city that has a population of at least 3 million people.BBC reports that after the previous escape of six lions 10 days ago, it was thought that they had all returned, but the “incident was not conclusively dealt with,” according to Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) spokesperson, Paul Udoto.
The Nairobi National Park’s proximity with the urban world is a growing concern as urbanisation is making ancient migration routes used by herds to look for new pastures narrower.
The KWS estimates that only about 2,000 lions remain in the country, implying they could completely vanish within two decades.
Africa’s lion population is estimated to have declined in number from 200,000 in the 1960s to fewer than 25,000.
According to experts, the population is likely to fall again by half in the next 20 years.