The second week of February was an exciting week at Lion Landscapes as we were trying to collar a big male lion!
Our first introduction to this particular male lion began with a phone call from Mpala Ranch notifying us that a very skinny lion had snuck into one of their camel bomas (a boma is an enclosure to protect herds of livestock) and spent two hours there, sadly resulting in seven dead and ten injured camels.
When we arrived at the boma to inspect it, it was chaotic to say the least. After receiving some images our lion rangers had managed to take of this lion, we confirmed that he was in extremely poor condition. It looked as though he must have been stuck somewhere and that he was starving as he had no visible injuries, and didn’t seem to be sick as he ate one of the camels with much enthusiasm… but we needed to be sure.
After several days of tracking him and keeping an eye on his whereabouts, the KWS team arrived to assist us with his capture.
Collaring him was a huge success, but not without challenges. It was dark when he was tranquilised by the KWS vet, Dr Mathew Mutinda, and our team had to walk through extremely rugged and bushy terrain to get to him. His general health was checked and one of our Satellite GPS Collars was fitted.
He has since been aptly named "Jangili" by the Lion Rangers on Mpala. Jangili has a few meanings including thief, poacher or someone who sneaks around getting up to no good!
Jangili’s movements are being monitored through real-time data which is accessed via a mobile phone app developed by Save the Elephants. This allows Lion Landscapes, our Lion Ranger units and the Mpala team to closely monitor his movements with the hope of preventing any future human-livestock encounters, as well as being able to keep an eye on his health. Since his collaring Jangili has started to gain weight and is looking a lot healthier. Jangili spends his time across a Segera, Mpala and Sosian, these cross boundary movements emphasize the importance of landscape scale management when it comes to monitoring lions and mitigating conflict.
Special thanks to the Mpala team and the KWS vet service for their assistance.
This blog was written by Glen Behr who has joined us as our Kenyan Field Operations Manager. A Kenyan national who has made Laikipia his home, Glen has many years of experience running safaris and projects across the country.
Glen: "After spending my life surrounded by, volunteering my time to and making a profession from nature and wildlife, I never felt that I was doing enough to protect what has ultimately given me so much. Having the opportunity to join this dedicated group of people who make up Lion Landscapes has finally allowed me the chance to focus on conservation and assist communities to safeguard their livelihoods. Co-existence is the key to conservation; which is what Lion Landscapes is all about".