In this series of blog posts, we want to give you an in depth and personal look at some of the work of our Simba Scouts that work in the field, tracking and protecting the lions of Kuku Group Ranch.
HOW THE TEAM ENDED UP HAVING TO GO OUT ON FOOT IN THE NIGHT SURROUNDED BY LIONS FOR AN AUDIO PLUG:
Our Maasai warrior and Simba Scouts Co-ordinator, David Kanai shares his experience of the most recent lion collaring operation on Saturday May 12th:
“We started monitoring lions early in the morning. I was out on my motorbike for half of the day without a clear indication of where the lions were located. I climbed 3 different hills to get a better idea, just to get an idea through telemetry of where they might be. Around 2pm, I found a clear signal of the direction of the lions. They were located in an area with a very rough terrain. I took my motorbike to assess the area for the calling station. After locating a good area for the call out, I came back to MWCT HQ to prepare for the evening collaring operation and to share what I’ve found with the rest of the team. We went out as normal at around 430pm, leaving HQ. It took us about 2 hours to drive to the calling station site. We started to prep everything and at around 700pm we decided to start the call out. As I was rummaging through my bag for the audio plug, I had realised that it was not there. I had to call the back up car, to assist us to collect one as quickly as possible. Luckily, we were able to get one and have a car drive to us to bring it. However, that car had gotten stuck just 1.5km away from our car. So the only thing I could do at that point was to walk, even knowing that the lions were close by, it was a quick job that needed to be done. At around 830pm, we started the call out once we had grabbed the audio plug. Within an hour of the call out, 2 large male lions had showed up and we were able to successful dart one of the males at around 9:03pm. As we waited for the lion to fall asleep, we had begun to collar him as quickly as possible. Our back up car stayed by to make sure that the lion woke up safely and was able to walk away healthy.”