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Changing Attitudes of Maasai Steppe Pastoralists Offer Hope to Lions

For the Maasai, the lion hunt is a celebration of bravery reflecting their reverence and respect for the big cat as a primary foe. However, their relationship with the lion has become increasingly turbulent as the pastoralists confront an ever more populated landscape where conflicts between people and wildlife are on the rise. Warriors often put down their spears, replacing them with poison and guns. With lion populations plummeting across many parts of the continent, one spot on Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe shows refreshing signs of a recovering lion population and a Maasai community in a locally-motivated transition. Deirdre Leowinata reports.

Build a Boma, Protect a Cow, Save a Lion

Good fences make good neighbors, the saying goes, and this is particularly true in rural Africa, where herders face daily challenges to protect livestock from lions and other predators. Build a Boma is a fundraising campaign by the National Geographic Society’s Big Cat Initiative that helps build the sturdy enclosures to protect cattle and goats from nocturnal raiders. By building traditional enclosures known as bomas, predators and domestic animals are kept apart, saving lions and other marauders from being killed by people anxious to protect their livestock. It’s an African solution funded in part by small donations from people of goodwill across the world, people in countries where sleeping safely at night has been taken for granted. Build a Boma is a win-win for people and wildlife.

LION LIGHTS — a home grown solution to saving lions and livestock

Paula Kahumbu, National Geographic grantee and Buffet Prize winner, writes about an innovative solution to save lions.  It’s originator is 13 year old Richard Turere. Family portrait of lioness and her cubs, Nairobi National Park,  Stuart Pimm. Lions, once ubiquitous in Africa and Asia are now in big trouble of going extinct in the wild.…

Maasai Women Speak Out for Living Walls

The Big Cats Initiative Grants Program seeks to identify and support projects that engage in immediate actions leading to reductions in big cat mortality. Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, Executive Director of the African People and Wildlife Fund, has been the recipient of multiple BCI grants and provides a prime example of how the BCI and its…