NAIROBI, May 14 (Xinhua) - A group of Kenyan herdsmen killed six lions in southern Kenya on Saturday, wildlife conservation bodies confirmed on Saturday evening.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Big Life Foundation said the incident happened after a group of nine subadult lions broke into a livestock enclosure near Mbirikani in the southern county of Kajiado, which is close to the Amboseli National Park on Friday night, killing 12 goats and a dog.
The foundation said its community wildlife rangers responded immediately, pushing the lions away from the homestead.
"Big Life staff were able to push three lions out of the premises during the night, and they moved away from the town to safety, but the other six remained inside the compound overnight," it said in a statement issued on Saturday night.
It said the crowd later built, and tensions spilled over as dozens of people broke through the compound fence, spearing all six lions.
"Many members of the crowd were armed with spears, and any intervention by the KWS, the Kenya Police Service, or Big Life would have risked escalation of an extremely volatile situation, and almost certainly resulted in human injury or death," the foundation said.
Big Life Foundation described the situation as unfortunate, saying the attackers were volatile. "We are committed to the well-being of human beings and animals with the Amboseli National Ecosystem, and such incidents are a big setback to our efforts aimed at facilitating co-existence between humans and wildlife."
The killing came barely three days after Amboseli National Park's oldest and most popular lion, Loonkito, 19, was killed by herdsmen after raiding a home preying on livestock.
The KWS said officers have intensified discussions with the local community to address the current conflict, which resulted in the killing of six lions.
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident as over the last week, four other lions have been killed, resulting in a total of ten lions killed in the Amboseli ecosystem," the KWS said in a statement on Saturday evening. ■