Tag Archives: lions

When the lion is not at the top of the food chain

This may look like an idyllic scene, however it shows one of the symptoms of a greater problem that leads to many lion deaths. It’s when lions and livestock compete for space.

The Maasai will oftentimes lead their cattle, goats and sheep into the Maasai Mara reserve to graze due to expanding settlements and fewer pastures for their livestock to feed on. What we see here is a struggle to maintain rural livelihoods and the issue of habitat loss due to overgrazing- which then leads to lions wandering out to the villages and eating livestock. This sparks retaliatory attacks by the Maasai, and the lions are usually killed by poison. This is what happened last December to the Marsh Pride lions, the stars of the Big Cat Diaries.

Lion-proof bomas, controlled grazing zones, greater regulation, and more incentives for the Maasai to live peacefully around lions can help to ensure that everyone’s livelihoods are maintained while lions are not unnecessarily killed. Efforts are underway, yet illegal grazing is still a common sight- and if it is, then it’s a sign that things aren’t working as well as they should.


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Blood Lions

A lioness of the Serengeti plains, free to be wild.

While she experiences the wilds here- her natural birthright- elsewhere on the continent, her cousins are being bred on farms for canned hunting.

Purposely born in farms, raised inside cages and by the hand of the human, little lion cubs become conditioned to being in the presence of humans. As they grow, people will pay tickets to pet them, walk with them, take photographs with them, and cuddle them. When they are old enough, these lions are sold onto agents and released into confined areas to be targets of trophy hunting. The funds generated from these hunting adventures has nothing to do with conservation. Unfortunately, legislation allows canned and trophy hunting to continue unabated.

The film Blood Lions shows a small glimpse into this industry. While it is very difficult viewing- and I couldn’t bear to watch it a second time around- the message is clear: there is no place in this world for hunting of any kind. Because all lives matter.