Monday, July 21, 2008

Save the Lions

Today I'd like to draw everybody's attention to a very serious issue affecting big cats in the wild. In southern Kenya, along the border with Tanzania, is Amboseli National Park. It is a near four hundred square kilometers reserve situated right next to the breathtaking Mt. Kilimanjaro, the 'roof of Africa'. For generations the park has housed big cats and their prey that have lived alongside the local Maasai natives of that region. Of late, however, the situation has taken a turn for the worse for the people and wildlife of Amboseli. Lions have taken to attacking cattle. In retaliation the herders have started killing lions. Lions are disappearing at an alarming rate and the situation has now reached a critical level.

I learned about the issue first a few days back via the electronic National Geographic Society Newsletter and was already thinking of making a post in this regard when yesterday somebody from the National Geographic Society commented on the African Lion profile age to draw attention to this issue. The situation is really desperate at the moment. You can read more about it here:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/big-cat-conservation.html

The Maasai are not entirely to blame either. As conservationist Dereck Joubert points out in the NGS video, Maasai have a cattle based economy and the wanton loss of their cattle has disastrous influences on the well being of their families. These poor people can literally starve if lions continue killing their animals. And so they take to eliminating the lions in retaliation. National Geographic has set up an emergency fund that aims to compensate the Maasai people for the loss of their cattle to lions. Such conservation efforts have proved to be successful in the past and they are already working in Amboseli. Other aspects of the program include benefiting the local people and regional ecosystem so that there is a harmonious relationship amongst all the elements of the area. In the long term, in my opinion, they can also try to convince people to migrate from areas next to lion pride territories to safer places, and compensate them monetarily in this regard. This strategy has worked for saving tigers in India.

Cave Lions depiction
National Geographic Society is doing a world of good. They are helping create jobs for the natives and involving them in the regional ecotourism industry. They have already provided a US $ 150,000 grant to the Maasailand Preservation Trust. It is time for us to help. We can donate directly to the fund by going here:
https://donate.ngs.org/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=608&srcid=608

We can also raise awareness about the issue by posting about it in our blogs or websites. In this way a wider audience will be able to learn and spread this important message. I've created a small 125 x 125 graphic that we can place anywhere in our site to link to the National Geographic Society project page. Following is the html that you can paste in your blog or site's template/html to display the banner:

<a href="http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/big-cat-conservation.html"><img border="0" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/2596441493_5eeb9aa3c6_o.jpg" width="125" height="125" alt="Save the Lions">


It is now or never for the Maasai Lions. It is up to us to save the magnificent animals from the brink of extinction. If we don't act now these most majestic of Nature's creations will be lost forever. Please go here now to learn about this issue:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/big-cat-conservation.html

Lioness with cub
I am going to leave this post on the blog's front page for the next one month in order that a maximum number of people can gain awareness about the dire need of Kenya's lions and contribute towards alleviating their suffering. I'll continue to write posts in the intervening period that will be available for reading in the left sidebar. Thank you all and God bless.

12 comments:

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

we will donate to this. it is a terrible situation these people and lions are in. thank goodness for National Geographic stepping in. Thank you for posting about this.

Diamond said...

Thank you for this post. You do an amazing service with this blog of resources.

snowforest said...

Hendrix thanks alot for your compassion and contribution. I've made a donation too and am glad to learn that NGS hopes to achieve its $150000 target in the coming weeks.
Dimaond again thanks for your kind words. It is encouragement of people like you that keeps me going :)

caspersmom said...

I was watching on the PBS station yesterday where the lions on the Maasai ranch in the Kenya area are becoming scarce and the Maasai are trying to help build up the lion region again by keeping track of where the lions are and staying away from them with their herds of cattle. They have been tagging the lions and they have an antenna that tells them where they are and stay out of their area. It was quite interesting. I pray more work like this will go on to protect those beautiful cats. Keep up your good work Omer.

caspersmom said...

They also mentioned on the program about the compensation for the people that lost cattle. I pray it works.

Pablo said...

This is a terrible situation! I'll be sure to put the graphic and link on my blog.

Karen Jo said...

Thanks for the great post on the lion situation, Omer. It is a very worthy cause. I will put the button up on my blog and make a donation.

Spooker said...

We talk about lions and their pride briefly at Purrchance To Dream today (Monday 6/30/08)
This is a good thing you're doing - to help spread the news.
purrs,
Auntie Spooker

Samantha & Mr. Tigger said...

Wow! Thanks for this post! It is very sad what is happening and we hope they can get the help they need!
Your FL furiends,

gracegreciagracet said...

Thanks for doing your part in saving the lion from extinction in your post.

Hostmonster said...

I fill sad for these people and lions. Yes i shall donate. Thanks for posting this

Petitehye said...

Thanks for this post, you get me informed and I am sure you will be blessed for this. Take care.

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