No dead livestock equals a happy farmer after a pride of fifteen wild lions are scared off by lights and sirens provided by Walking For Lions.
It is well over a year ago (January 2015) when I met Marnus Roodbol, the founder of Walking For Lions. From that first meeting I was sold, not by fancy talking, but by his passion, knowledge and most of all his love for lions. In October 2015 we spent a day with Marnus in the bush looking for the big cats and interviewing farmers to get a sense of the magnitude of the human-wildlife conflict they are dealing with. Well, it was an obvious choice to bring Marnus and Walking For Lions on board as an option for you to support. To date we’ve been able to donate ZAR51,000 to help save wild lions. Our goal (with your help) is to double, if not triple, that by years end (2016.)
Here is one of the latest reports from Marnus with Walking For Lions, currently working in the Pandamatenga area in Botswana.
Proof that lights can keep cattle safe from wild lions
After the conference we were straight back to work with a farmer phoning us to say he had 15 lions in his garden and around his kraal. Yes, 15 lions! We went to his farm first thing in the morning to see what we would find. There was substantial evidence of them being there the night before and eventually found them a few minutes later. They killed three zebra against a fence several kilometers away from the farmer’s kraal.
This is FANTASTIC news for us and here is why; the lions went to the livestock first but could not breach the light/siren combination. The sirens also woke the farmer where he shinned his torch to view the lions at night running from the cattle post and lights. Then the lions left and walked several kilometers further before they found the zebra herd.
Image 4 a juvenile lion running away from our vehicle once we found
him/her with the rest of the pride feasting on the zebra’s
With such a large pride in the area we followed their movements by gathering personal accounts from local farmers and following tracks. It was not long before we saw one large female sitting in the road. Soon after, we began to notice the rest of the pride. We had a visual on 6 adult lions and 4 cubs, around 6/7 months of age. Using our drone, we tried to push them towards the Zimbabwean border with some difficulty.
The following day we returned to find they had moved out of the area and stayed away for several weeks.
Another pride of lions attempted to get in to two other kraals further south. They were also unsuccessful due to the lights and sirens deterring them from entering the kraals. Although there had been reports of lions being heard and seen further away the farmers we work with had little to no lion activity.
Protecting cattle from lions and lions from irate farmers is no easy task. However, as humans continue to encroach on the habitat of wild lions it is imperative to find solutions to resolve this ever growing human-wildlife conflict issue.
There it is, proof that Marnus and Walking For Lions save wild lions with lights and sirens work. However, that’s not all, this team is constantly exploring new options to protect wild lions effectively. As this of course requires money we invite you to consider if $7, $10, $25 or an even larger donation a month is right for you to join the campaign to save these iconic big cats.
Sadly due to circumstances beyond his control Marnus had to withdraw for a season.