Guess who’s back? Lions return to Rwanda!

July 7, 2015 • 2:30 pm

by Grania

Lions were wiped out in Rwanda during the civil war in 1994, and tragically the last ones in the park were poisoned by refugees displaced by the violence who were occupying part of the park.

More than two decades later, seven lions (five female and two male) are being translocated from South Africa to Akagera National Park in Rwanda. They will be in quarantine for about two weeks when they will be released into the park.

A lion brought from South Africa walks inside a temporary enclosure in Akagera National Park, in the east of Rwanda, on July 1, 2015
AFP Photo/Stephanie Aglietti

These conservation programs are vital. As The Guardian notes:

The lion remains listed as vulnerable at a global level, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature said last month in an update to its Red List of threatened species. The IUCN warns that trade in bones and other body parts for traditional medicine in Africa and Asia is a new and emerging threat to the species.

Watch the AFP news video on it here

11 thoughts on “Guess who’s back? Lions return to Rwanda!

  1. And a few weeks after they are released back inot the park some chuckle heads will kill them so they can wear their skin as part of some idiotic ritual.

    1. some chuckle heads will kill them

      Agreed.

      so they can wear their skin as part of some idiotic ritual.

      More likely so they can sell the skins to some stage performer who will use them in an enactment of a ritual for a paying audience.
      Cynical? Moi?

  2. Here is hoping that the restocking of the park will be sustainable, and will result in increased tourism.

  3. I try not to get too gloomy but I’m becoming increasingly pessimistic about the fate of nearly all wildlife over the next century and don’t really expect our species as a whole to wise up to the massive damage we’re doing to the ecosystem that supports all of us. Our intelligence, greed and short-sighted ignorance are combining to make us the first species wise enough to know better but still stupid enough to bring about a mass extinction which will ultimately wipe us out as well, although that may take a few more centuries.
    At least I hope things don’t get too much worse over the remaining few decades I might have to live. And just maybe the lions will thrive again in Rwanda. And maybe if I make it to 100 in 2062 there will still be rhinos and elephants in the wildernesses of Africa and/or Asia.

  4. If only it could be shown that these animals and their prey could be part and parcel of a better life for locals and their economy. As in Eco tourism and the net,adopt a lion scheme just as they have done with the Ugandan mountain gorillas could be an option.
    I think the West needs to be more active and get creative for the sake of bio diversity world wide, get us involved and more engaged as most of the dollars to make a difference, to set up programmes are in our hands.
    It makes one go into a headspin thinking all
    the dollars that go into the military and security globally. We are a very wasteful hairless ape.

  5. “And a few weeks after they are released back inot the park some chuckle heads will kill them so they can wear their skin as part of some idiotic ritual.”

    This is absolutely incorrect- the lions are in a national park and are heavily guarded. Rwanda isn’t Congo- our wildlife is very well protected
    Thanks for the story Grania!

    1. This is absolutely incorrect- the lions are in a national park and are heavily guarded.

      That may double or even triple their lifetime.

  6. Optimism is the only option worth acting upon.

    Of course, ACTING is the key word.

    Any word on the genetic diversity of the introduced population(s) and the carrying capacity of the system?

    1. Any word on the genetic diversity of the introduced population(s)

      That, at least, is relatively easily fixed. Experience with naturally introduced wolf populations isolated from others in Sweden show that even one introduced animal a year can rapidly add up to a lot of additional diversity.

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