With the dried-up Ewaso Ny’iro River at their backs, the three males walked out of the brush, shaking their manes to repel the grasping branches. This trio had never set foot in Samburu National Reserve before, which the Ewaso Lions monitoring team took as a hopeful sign. Despite the severe drought plaguing Kenya this year, carnivores throughout Samburu were still thriving. In their 15th year of operation, Ewaso Lions monitored the highest number of lions ever recorded in Samburu.
Local prides showed their resilience during the drought, with seven new cubs born this year. After years promoting coexistence between lions and the people who live alongside them, Ewaso Lions is seeing the lion population steadily increase, as is the tolerance for lions from local communities. Resident lions are traveling more confidently throughout Samburu, and the unprecedented movement of the three new males from other conservancies demonstrates that Ewaso Lions’ work to maintain critical wildlife corridors has been successful. It also shows that the area is recognized by neighboring lions as safe habitat free from human conflict. With luck, this promising trend of population growth will continue as Samburu’s lions, and other wildlife, reap the rewards of Ewaso Lions’ labors.