Lions feared to be roaming near residential area in Nairobi

Six lions walked out of Nairobi National Park and were roaming through a residential area Friday, said Kenyan wildlife authorities who dispatched rangers to find the errant big cats.
A lions yawns at Nairobi's National Park in a 2013 file photo. The park is located seven kilometres from the Kenya's capital city centre. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

Six lions walked out of Nairobi National Park and were roaming through a residential area Friday, said Kenyan wildlife authorities who dispatched rangers to find the errant big cats.

The lions were first spotted at 4 a.m. near a hospital in the suburb of Langata, and later near Kibera, Kenya's largest slum, said Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto.

It's unclear how the lions got out of the park, most of which is surrounded by an electric fence.

A team of wildlife rangers tracking the lions aims to capture them and return them to the park, "but they are prepared for anything," Udoto said.

A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officer carries a tranquilizer gun, during a search Friday for lions who left Nairobi's national park and went into highly populated areas. (Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images)

Nairobi National Park's 117-square-kilometres is home to endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and diverse birdlife. The animals roam just 10 kilometres from downtown Nairobi, which lies north of the park.

Occasionally lions will clash with people on the southern side, which is not fenced.

In 2012 six lions were killed after the pride of eight lions attacked and killed eight goats of Masaai herdsmen. Only about 2,000 lions are left in Kenya; the devastating effect of years of hunting and then poaching.

The government has announced plans to build a railway that will traverse part of the reserve. Conservationists have opposed the railway line, saying it will further damage wildlife habitat.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.