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Kenya’s lion population up 31% in 13 years

Kenya’s lion population up 31% in 13 years

The lion population in Kenya has been recovering from a 1,970 low since in 2008 to 2,589 in 2021 indicating a 31 percent growth as per the concluded National Wildlife Census.

This means in the last three years Kenya’s lions population has grown by about 600.

Speaking during the commemoration of the World lions’ day, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala noted the lion population in Kenya has increased from a low 1,970 in 2008 to 2,589 in 2021, as per the concluded National Wildlife Census.

CS Balala said the lion population in the country is still low and needed efforts to increase their population.

“This is still low, and we need to step up our efforts to increase their population,” CS Tourism & Wildlife Hon Najib Balala.

Lion is a powerful animal, ingrained in Kenyan culture including Kenya’s Coat of Arms which features two lions as a symbol of protection and is one of the flagship species of Kenya for conservation and tourism.

This has seen Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) develop a National Lion Conservation Strategy that aims to conserve lions within the context of the wider approach to the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife.

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This will entail conserving not only numerically viable populations of lions, but also viable populations of prey.

The exhibition organised by TUSK organization including Safaricom and KCB Group will work with KWS in the implementation of the National Lion Conservation Strategy, according to KWS Director General John Waweru.

“As we mark today, I call upon partners such as TUSK and others to work with us in the implementation of the National Lion Conservation Strategy.This will assure Kenya and the world of continued presence of the King of the Jungle,” said Waweru.

KWS joined the rest of the world marking World Lion Day to raise awareness of the threats to the king of the jungle.

In a report by World Animal Protection, every day, hundreds of lions are captured and kept in breeding facilities. These are individually owned entities aimed at maximising profit.

But these management practices are highly stressful for the lions who are kept in small cages with barren floors which is a far cry from their natural habitats

“There’s a complete disregard for their health and for their most basic needs such as a balanced diet with the worst being an inbreeding culture,” said the report.

About a hundred years ago, there were more than 200,000 lions in Africa, this is according to Panthera.  Lions have dispersed in approximately 90 percent of their habitats;

Currently, the total count of lions in Africa is approximated to be 20,000 in 26 African countries.

However, according to the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) Red List, the total number of lions in the wold is approximated to be between 20,000 to 39,000.

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