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Nairobi on Alert after Escaped Lions Spotted Prowling Around Town

Nairobi lion

Image credit: The lions normally live in Nairobi National Park, located just a few miles south of the city center. Tony Karumba/Stringer/Getty

Recently Nairobi, The capital of Kenya, was on high alert when at least two lions had escaped from the national park bordering the city one evening. After the event the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS), institution in charge of management of the park, took immediate action by sending armed rangers and vets in search of the region around Kibera, which was regarded as one of Africa’s largest slums, being located just several kilometers away from the edge of the national park.

To everyone’s relief, a female lion and her two cubs were caught. However the authority warned that residents should remain vigilant in case that any other big cats could roam the streets. It was believed that these lions had wandered out of NairobiNational Park, which fringes the capital. Although it was tightly fenced on the side closest to the city, it would be open elsewhere to ensure the animals to move around.

Covering an area of nearly 117 square kilometers, the park was really a small one in terms of the African park’s size. However it housed a large number of various wildlife populations, such as giraffes, hippos and rhinos, as well as some 30 lions.

It was initially reported that more than six lions might have struck out from the park, but it was later denied by the KWS, whose explanation was that “certainly more than one, but not six.”

When answering the question from one local resident who was concerned about whether or not to lock their children, on Twitter, Paul Udoto, the spokesman for the KWS, said that residents should be suggested to so until the lions were confirmed to be captured and safely returned to the park. In addition, his advice was that residents should not confront or provoke any of the lions that might still be wandering; instead they should make immediate contacts with the KWS, reporting about their whereabouts.

Apparently, it was not the first time that the big cats escaped from the park and wandered into the capital. As the park was hemmed in on one side by the city, the animals living within it were under growing pressure from increasing populations and agriculture occupying more and more of the nearby landscape, thus taking over the wildlife’s migrating and hunting grounds.