Kenyans were left angered on Thursday after the country’s wildlife authority announced that it had implanted contraceptives in a lioness to stop it from giving birth to maintain a healthy food chain balance.
“The lion reigns supreme on the Food Chain. To maintain this balance, Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. M. Mutinda, deployed a hormonal contraceptive implant (prevents conception for a year) in an immobilized 5-year-old lioness at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy,” KWS said via its official Twitter handle.
“Six lionesses will be implanted to reduce the predation of endangered species.”
The lion reigns supreme on the Food Chain. To maintain this balance, @kwskenya vet Dr. M. Mutinda, deployed a hormonal contraceptive implant (prevents conception for a year) in an immobilized 5-year-old lioness at @lewa_wildlife. #SustainingAllLife #WildlifeKe pic.twitter.com/x4hnQFPEK8
— KWS (@kwskenya) July 16, 2020
The implantation of the contraceptives comes barely a year after a multi-agency stuy showed that the East African country’s lion population was far less than initially thought.
Conducted in October 2019, Kenya’s first ever scientific census on the population and geographical range of the lion showed that the carnivore’s numbers had dwindled worryingly over the past decade.
Local Daily Nation newspaper at the time reported that there were about 1,970 lions in 2007.
At a conference themed “Carnivore conservation in changing landscapes”, KWS Director General John Waweru called for ways of tackling challenges facing carnivores.
According to the wildlife authority, Kenya’s carnivore population is estimated to be above 2,000.
Following Thursday’s announcement by KWS on implanting contraceptives in lionesses, Kenyans flooded social media to show their disapproval of the move, some calling for other means to ensure a balanced food chain.
Here’s a look at some of the reactions;
Seriously!! This will be time lost that you will never recover.
Just relocate them. If necessary relocate a whole pride. Many places in Kenya they can easily flourish.#crazy
— Darshak Patel (@PatelDaku) July 16, 2020
This is wrong lions are few now in Kenya. They should have sent them to Boni Forest where other animals in their food chain are soo many. In Boni Forest they are thriving
— Hassan Basmer (@HassanBasmer1) July 16, 2020
Wrong decision. Why not relocate and distribute the population across various national parks?
— Evans Wesonga (@Evanswesonga) July 16, 2020