Lions, Kenya, Africa discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
To be here. It's really a delight to have you. So tell me, I mean, you're doing this conservation work in Africa right now. How dire do you think the lions future is. Well, two things. I mean lions an extraordinary species because they have actually survived in an environment which has a lot of people in it. I mean, really national park is right in the capital city of one of the biggest cities in the world. I three in Africa and and we have lots of lands in that puck and that pocket surrounded by people. So I don't lions are incredibly adaptable. They also breathe very fast because they can have many cubs, seven or eight cubs in a go until they are actually quite adaptable. And they can re- rebound if they're given the chance to we once had the population was brought right down to seven individuals, and now they're over forty five. But the the problem is severe because we have growing human population. We have a communities who quite pool who can't afford many of the devices that I heard being talked about earlier, and they also don't make any benefit from the lion. So narrow opinion, lions rather worthless. But on the other. A hand, our communities, especially in eastern Africa, and some other parts of Africa have lived with lions for eons. They know how to live with lion, but as we become more and more developed, you know people, children are going to school instead of learning the ways of the land in the ways of the tribe. So they're losing a lot of that traditional knowledge. And I think that is possibly why we're seeing greater intolerance in Kenya. The greatest threat lions is intolerance. People killing lions because they are taking off livestock on lifestock is the livelihood and the only means for some people to get enough money to pay for the children to go to school. When a lion kills your your lifestock, it's disastrous. We'll do have an example or a suppose there probably hopefully multiple examples on how that relationship can be changed for both the the families and the lions benefit. Yeah, we have this extraordinary story in Kenya of a young boy. His name is Richard Tarare and he at the age of eleven invented a device to keep the lions away from his father's decayed. So similar to what Luke has mentioned earlier, you know, the people, the Maasai community, keep those captured behind wooden and wire mesh okayed at night. This little boy figured out that the lions wouldn't attack if he was walking around at night with a flashlight. So he devised a very simple flashing system of light that tricks, the lions into thinking that he's awake walking around and he's he's in bed. This work really, really well, and because it was an invention that came from the local community, it was just adopted wholeheartedly, not just in Kenya, but all across Africa. So this is, I think, really excellent example of how innovation can come from the people who are affected themselves. It's an innovation that is cheap. It's affordable. He made it from bits of broken. And flashlights and bulbs, and you know, battery from an old car bits of wire found, he's now you know it. It's something that really turned things around for a lot of those committees. And what if If I I just just made. made the lion. Yeah, forgive me for jumping in here. We just have to take a break here in the next thirty seconds. So Pollock Cahoon Mbu joins us from Nairobi, Kenya. She CEO of the conservation group wildlife direct. We're also joined by Luke hunter, chief conservation officer with Panthera and Sara Evans author of when the last lion roars and we're talking about the current perilous state of the African wild lion, twenty thousand of them left on the continent and.