Monday, August 10, 2015

Rawanda Releases Lions into Akagera Park

The nation of Rwanda with the help of African Parks has translocated seven lions into Akagera National Park.  The lions, two males [photo] and five females, were brought from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa to Rwanda at the end of June.  The lions were kept in a protected boma prior to their release.  A waterbuck carcass was placed outside the gates to encourge them to accept their new freedom in the wild.  The two males refused to exit until park and press vehicles left the scene.  They spent 45 hours in trucks and abord an airplane for the exhausting trip north to Rwanda.

The lions are the first to roam the park in 15 years.  Akagera was unmanaged for years following the 1994 genocide.  Its few remaining lions were poisoned by cattle herders.    They come from different prides.  Among the females is a ten-year-old mother and her one-year old daughter.  All of the released lions will wear satelite telemetry collars for two years so park officals can keep track of their movements.  Also, the lions will be named by stakeholders and donors.