Lions’ extinction a real threat in Kenya



from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) THE survival of lions is under severe threat in Kenya, with habitat loss and degradation the main pressures.

Human settlements encroaching into lion habitats are triggering the threats, while prey depletion because of poaching and indiscriminate killing are other major causes of decline.

Furthermore, there are concerns about the illegal trade in lion parts for medicinal purposes, and improvements in the management of trophy hunting have been recommended.

A partnership between the country’s eminent bank and a leading wildlife conservation organisation is anticipated to end the threats.

KCB Bank has announced the partnership with with Tusk, to launch the Lion Trail initiative.

The global campaign is aimed at raising public awareness on the plight of lions in Africa.

The Tusk Trail Lion is a global art installation in support of African lion conservation which will see the installation of 47 sculptures that are displayed to the public at a selection of iconic sites across the world including Nairobi, several UK cities (London, Edinburgh and Bristol), the Hamptons – New York, Sydney – Australia and Wellington – New Zealand.

“We are playing our part to secure the survival of this iconic species in the world,” said KCB Group Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Citizenship Director Rosalind Gichuru.

The lion sculpture, designed by renowned Kenyan artist, Peterson Kamwathi, will be at Kencom in Nairobi until November 9.

A life-size lion sculpture is on display.

Beatrice Karanja-Shah, Tusk Trustee, said sharp declines in lion populations over the last decade called for an urgent need to address the pressures affecting the majestic species.

“Strengthening the coordination and collaboration amongst the lion countries in Africa partnerships with like-minded organizations is key to reaching this goal,” Karanja-Shah said.

Lions have vanished from 80-to-90 percent of their historical range, and are now gone from between 26-to-33 countries that they formerly inhabited.

This is according to the Lion Recovery Fund.

It reports that in Africa, a century ago there were 200 000 lions.

Today there are likely just over 20 000.

– CAJ News


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