Reasons for this increased intensity include human population increase, habitat loss, and decreasing prey base to name a few. Human-lion conflicts are an age old problem but have become more intense during the last few decades causing the lion population to dramatically decrease. Reasons for this increased intensity include human population increase, habitat loss, and decreasing prey base to name a few. The conflicts often occur at night when livestock, i.e. cows, sheep and goats, are injured or killed inside their enclosures. In the Masai Mara thorn bushes were traditionally used to create an enclosure to protect the livestock, and more recently wood has been used to create the enclosures. However, such structures are insufficient to protect livestock from lions and hyenas, as they can easily penetrate these poorly constructed “fences”. Alternatively, the predators can scare the livestock from the outside, making them panic so that they stampede out of the enclosures. Consequently, lions and hyenas have no problem injuring or killing the livestock for an easy meal. Such attacks often lead to retaliation by the Maasai people who kill the predators in revenge, either on site or by tracking them down. Often, it is not the guilty lion that is killed, in fact, any will suffice.
EXPENSIVE SOLUTIONS AND TERMITE PROBLEMS A common solution to this problem is to help secure the livestock enclosures with proper fences and poles, the so called Predator Proof Bomas (PPB) approach (boma is the East African term for livestock enclosures). Basically, wood
Sheep killed after lions attacked the Maasai village. Lions and hyenas sometimes kill many sheep and goats at a time, either directly or by the sheep crushing each other, only eating or leaving with a few. Foto: MNLP project assistent Dominic Sakat.
UDGAVE 7 / JUN 2013
A poorly constructed livestock enclosure. Foto: MNLP project assistent Dominic Sakat A dead lion as a result of retaliation. Foto: MNLP project assistent Dominic Sakat