Nairobi keeps track of its lions

Nairobi's lions fitted with tracking devices.

Lions in Nairobi National Park are to be fitted with tracking collars to help Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers monitor the animals' movements.

The measures are also designed to help prevent the lions from roaming beyond the confines of the 12,000-hectare national nature reserve which is bordered on three sides by the Kenyan capital.

Rangers will be alerted when lions veer towards the city in an attempt to avoid conflict between the wild animals and Nairobi's encroaching human population.

The park is home to between 23 and 25 lions, five of which have already been fitted with tracking devices. The KWS, in collaboration with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, plan to collar another six lions, bringing the number of tracked lions to 11, which they believe should give them "adequate information" on the animals' movements.

Conservationists say a controversial new road and railway passing through the park has been affecting the creatures' habits, leading to some cases of KWS rangers being forced to shoot lions "escaping" into human settlements, to protect the public.

In 2016 the KWS mooted the possibility of moving half the park’s lions elsewhere, conceding that in the future it may be required to fence off the park, effectively turning it into a naturalistic zoo.