As reported by the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS), the human-wildlife conflict in the area has increased, killing ten lions in southern Kenya over the previous week, including six just on Saturday.
A KWS official told CNN on Sunday that this was “an unusually large number of lions to be killed at one time.”
It follows the earlier this week announcement by conservationists that Loonkiito, one of Africa’s oldest lions, had been killed at the age of 19.
He had ventured out of a protected area and into a livestock pen due to being “starving,” and was killed by the livestock owner, according to conservation organization Lion Guardians.
The organization said that the end of a drought is commonly marked by an increase in human-lion conflict, since wild prey becomes harder to hunt and livestock owners are “particularly vigilant” after losing so many animals. Kenya has been experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.
The six lions that died on Saturday had killed 11 goats and one dog, the KWS said in a press release on Saturday.
The lions were all part of Kajiado County’s Amboseli ecosystem, a UNESCO biosphere reserve site near Mount Kilimanjaro, according to the UN.
KWS hosted a meeting Saturday attended by locals and government officials to discuss the recent killings.
“The discussions centered on exploring ways to minimize the risk of human-wildlife conflict, including developing early warning systems to alert communities to the presence of wildlife in their vicinity,” said the KWS.
“Further discussions centered on the wider picture of exploring human-wildlife conflict in the context of community livelihoods and benefit sharing towards a harmonious coexistence in the open community and wildlife landscapes,” it added.