For young livestock herders, their animals are everything. Simple changes to their daily routines, like where to take their animals to graze, can really make the difference between life and death for wildlife like lions. Young herders grow up to become warriors, which means they have more frequent run-ins with lions as they watch over their grazing livestock, so fostering their tolerance for carnivores at an early age is vitally important. This is why Ewaso Lions developed their Lion Kids Camp to foster healthy experiences between local children and wildlife.
Ewaso Lions has broadened the focus of their Lion Kids Camp this year. They’re incorporating children from this new demographic—livestock herders’ children— who have very little, if any, exposure to conservation education, despite spending large portions of their life in areas where wildlife is abundant.
The camps focus on creating safer herding techniques and working on mitigating potential conflicts, especially in the wake of increased incidences of livestock getting lost and disappearing while out grazing. The kids were very lucky- they managed to see both adult and adolescent lions feeding on a giraffe that crocodiles had killed the night before, an exciting sight even for seasoned field researchers.
April’s camp marked another important milestone, successfully bringing together children from two tribes with a history of conflict between them. Through the camp, children from the Samburu and Turkana tribes connected with each other while learning a traditional Turkana song and dance, and performing together at the closing ceremonies. The children returned home filled with both a positive cross-cultural experience and a newfound appreciation for local wildlife, which they are eager to talk about to anyone who asks!