There have been increased sightings of wild lions in the affluent Nairobi suburb of Langata, which borders the 12,000-hectare Nairobi National Park nature reserve.
After recent unsuccessful attempts to catch a lioness which had terrorised residents of Mukoma Road for months, park rangers were left with no choice but to shoot the animal in early May.
Another lioness and four cubs were subsequently captured by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the national authority responsible for the country’s parks and animals. The lioness has returned to the wild and the cubs are being housed currently at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, a facility located within the national park.
Up until about 20 years ago much of the Langata district was rural and the KWS argue that it is not the animals that are trespassing, but the humans. In addition to lions, residents regularly share their neighbourhood with cheetahs, warthogs and monkeys.
Conservationists are concerned that, confronted with reduced hunting grounds and fewer antelope, Kenya’s lion population of 2,000 may become extinct in less than 20 years.