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10 lions killed in Kenya's Amboseli National Park

This photo provided by Lion Guardians shows the male lion "Loonkiito" in Amboseli National Park, southern Kenya, February 20, 2023   -  
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Philip J. Briggs/AP


One of Kenya’s oldest wild lions was killed by herders and the government has expressed concern as six more lions were speared at another village on Saturday, bringing to 10 the number killed last week alone.

The male lion named Loonkiito was 19 years old and was described as frail by the Kenya Wildlife Service who said it wandered out of the Amboseli national park into a village in search of food on Thursday night.

Six other lions from the same national park were speared by herders after they killed 11 goats in Mbirikani area, Kajiado county.

The deaths brought to 10 the number of lions killed by herders last week in escalated human-wildlife conflict that has worried the government.

Tennyson Williams, regional director for Africa at World Society for the Protection of Animals, said loss of habitat and climate change threatened the number of lions in the wild and that their future looked "bleak".

He said policies aimed at enabling communities to co-exist with wildlife were vital.

"Wildlife belongs in the wild and therefore we should allow them to exist in the wild. We have to have very clear enforceable policy provisions that does not allow humanity to encroach and deplete the resources that is supposed to enable these animals to sustain themselves," he said.

The government and conservation groups have a compensation program for herders whose livestock is killed by wild animals.

But herders have become more protective after losing livestock to a drought that has been termed as the worst in decades in the East Africa region.

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