The roar of the mighty lion once again sounds at Akagera

Lions are at long last set to make a comeback in Akagera National Park, when the relocation of 2 males and 5 females, all young adults, has been completed.

The roar of the mighty lion once again sounds at Akagera

Lions are at long last set to make a comeback in Akagera National Park, when the relocation of 2 males and 5 females, all young adults, has been completed.

African Parks, a conservation and park management organization with a notable pedigree across Africa, is a joint venture partner with the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department at Akagera. Some years back,RDB vested the park management, as well as key infrastructure investments which included a fortified electric fence to avoid game straying into adjoining farmlands, to African Parks and the partnership has prospered over the years and proved mutually beneficial.

African Parks was instrumental to secure a small pride of lions sourced from South African, after some misguided Kenyan ‘conservationists’ threw spanners in the works of a regional relocation, claiming at the time that Akagera and Rwanda were not fit to get Kenyan lions after losing the indigenous prides to poisoning and spearing, when the lions went after livestock. ‘These fellows really did not know about the facts on the ground. We had made headway and were very close to getting lions from Kenya when some characters felt they had something important to say. At that time was the fence already in place.

The entire stretch had been reinforced on the bottom to avoid game digging under the fence. That would have allowed the lions to escape but we anticipated that and did what was necessary to prevent that. Those Kenyans talked hot air from the distance without even bothering to ask or inspect the work we had done on the ground. Since African Parks got involved has the capacity been improved to effectively manage predators. Anyway, to cut a long story short, what those narrow minded individuals tried to prevent is now going to happen. We are getting lions from South Africa and there is not a thing they can to about it’ ranted a regular source from Kigali in addition to the information already received from RDB.

Latest eTN Podcast

The five lionesses were donated by the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve while the two male lions were equally deonated by the Tembe Elephant Reserve, both reserves located in Kwa Zulu Natal. All seven will arrive in Kigali by special charter on the 29th of June and will on arrival, accompanied by a team of veterinarian doctors, be transferred by road to Akagera. The entire journey, according to information provided by RDB, will last approximately 36 hours. On arrival they will for two weeks be kept in a specially constructed large enough boma, or holding pen, as a quarantine measure but also for allowing time to acclimatize and getting to know each other.

As a special measure to monitor their movements will all of them be fitted with a radio collar, allowing the park management team to know at all times where the pride is located.

All seven were selected for being in their prime and sub-prime and offering the best chance for a rapid population growth as the females start to reproduce.

The African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead, went on record when he said: ‘The return of lions to Akagera is a conservation milestone for the park and the country. Restoring national parks to their former biodiversity state is a key deliverable of the African Parks conservation model and we, in conjunction with our government partner, the Rwanda Development Board, are delighted to have been able to re-introduce one of the most charismatic species to this beautiful national park’. RDB’s CTO Yamina Karitanyi, responded saying: ‘It is a breakthrough in the rehabilitation of the park under the public private partnership between the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks. The return of lions will encourage the natural balance of the ecosystem. Rwandans and visitors will now have the chance to see one of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ animals in one of the continent’s most diverse national parks, cementing Rwanda’s status as conservation focused, all-in-one safari destination’.

Fill out my online form.
CATEGORIES
Follow on Feedly