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April 18, 2012

Preventing Retaliatory Killings of Lions

HSI expands our human-wildlife conflict mitigation work throughout East Africa

  • Lions, like this one relaxing in a baobab tree, see domestic animals as easy prey. African People & Wildlife Fund

  • This recently planted living commiphora wall (boma) will protect herds from predation. African People & Wildlife Fund

  • These living bomas will help protect the King of the Jungle. African People & Wildlife Fund

    HSI has strengthened our supporting role as an organization promoting humane, non-lethal solutions to human-lion conflict in East Africa. Through an innovative new partnership with the African People and Wildlife Fund, we are now expanding our impact to northern Tanzania.

    Lion conservation is a complex issue in the region, where protection of charismatic predators such as lions is pitted against local livelihoods when lions leave protected areas and make a meal of a goat, sheep, or cow in a nearby village. All too often, this results in the lion's being speared or shot shortly thereafter. To prevent such a deadly end, HSI and our local partner are promoting a strategy for mitigating lion conflict: building bomas.

    A living wall

    A boma—meaning "fence" in Swahili—is an enclosure built of commiphora thorn to keep predators away from cattle. In the past, HSI has funded building of bomas out of wooden poles and chain link fences to reinforce the structures and bring lion predation down to zero percent. Now, working in collaboration with the African People and Wildlife Fund, bomas are being built with a combination of chain link and commiphora tree cuttings.

    These "living" bomas allow commiphora trees to grow up from the soil around the chain link, providing much needed shade and vegetation in the savannah in addition to a sturdy metal barrier against predators. In 2012, HSI will provide funding for four commiphora bomas in Tanzania, just east of Tarangire National Park. We will post updates from the field as the work progresses.

    Help us build more

    Help HSI continue our leadership through on-the-ground projects by contributing to our Stop Wildlife Abuse fund to support this and our other initiatives to protect animals.