BY PATRICIA VAUGHN:
In an effort to save lions in Sub-Saharan Africa, CFACT has partnered with conservationist Patricia Vaughn, who has worked extensively in this field. The novel program seeks to place solar-powered lighting around “bomas” (cattle pens) to ward off lions when they attempt to feed on the enclosed animals during the evening – their usual time of dining. Such maulings frequently led to “revenge killings” by ranchers to protect their livestock. These revenge killings have been cited by experts as contributing to the lions’ demise in certain regions of the continent. The lights have been shown to save the cattle by “spooking” the lions and preventing such attacks from taking place. The locals love them.
Below is an update from Patricia on her latest trip to Africa and the placement of new solar lights provided in part by CFACT.
This is my report for Tanzania Lion Illumination Project for light installation from June to the beginning of September.
In this time period, we installed about 800 lights around 66 bomas in various locations. Many were installed in Robanda, where there are always lion attacks. Robanda is surrounded by the Serengeti and wildlife management areas and Grumeti Game Reserve. The people here love the lights and are looking forward to our return.
We always have many bomas in the West Kilimanjaro/Sinya area. Lions come across the border from Amboseli and cause lots of trouble. 12 cows were killed there in a few weeks! These Amboseli lions usually stay in Kenya, but if food is scarce, they show up.
Macow is another area that always needs lights. They are living near Maswa Game Reserve and at the southern end of Ndutu, where the wildebeest calving takes place. This area is populated by Maasai, Skuma, and my favorite people, the Mang’ati. They wear black, and the women wear coiled brass neck bands and wrist bands, and tons of copper coiled around their ankles. They are always happy to see us because of lions and other predators.
I’m heading back on December 7th. I have lights ordered, and hopefully, they will arrive about when I do. We are planning to go to Amboseli, Kenya, Mikumi National Park, Bagamoyo near the coast, and Simanjiro, to check the WMA there at Makame. They have terrible lion problems there, but Honey Guide has tried to keep us out. If you have something that actually works, the other NGOs hate it. It’s pathetic.
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