Category Archives: Team

The Ewaso Lions Team Unites for a Day of Games

Our team is spread out across Samburu in both Westgate and Mpus Kutuk Conservancies, so we brought everyone together as a reminder we are one united Ewaso Lions team. For a full day we held a series of team building exercises and called this Tenebo Day, which means “together” in the Samburu language.

Our team has grown to 24 and includes our field staff, Lion Scouts, camp staff, plus members of the Warrior Watch programme. Everyone split into five teams and picked animals for their team names.

In this event, one person per team was blindfolded and had to navigate an obstacle course.

The blindfolded person had to rely on solid communication with his teammates to guide him through the course.

The elephant dung throw.

The winners – Team Buffalo – scored the most points in the events.

The winning team – Team Buffalo – got a very special prize: a 30 minute flight with elephant expert and Ewaso Lions partner Iain Douglas-Hamilton. The winners were so excited since they have never flown in a plane before.

Tug-of-war.

Lion conservation and research is often hard work, so part of Tenebo Day’s purpose is to have some fun and enjoy each other’s company.

Team Honey Badger huddles to stategise about the Scavenger Hunt.

Tenebo Day was a fun way to create cohesion among our team, test one another’s physical prowess, work on communication, and build trust. We are very thankful for Sasaab Lodge which sponsored the day.

Click here to see photos from last year’s team building day.

Big Milestone: Shivani Submitted Her Thesis

Congratulations, Shivani! She finished writing and analysis, and has submitted her PhD thesis for review. The University of Oxford thesis is entitled “The Factors affecting lion (Panthera leo) sociality within the Samburu-Isiolo ecosystem in northern Kenya” and represents the culmination of the past several years of research and hard work by Shivani and the Ewaso Lions team. It is amazing what has gone into this thesis: 12 years of data, hundreds of hours spent in the field, dozens of people involved on various levels – and from it has sprung an entire wildlife conservation project.

Shivani and team worked around the clock leading up to submission. I joined her in Oxford for the final stretch. On submission day, we woke up early, did some final proofreading, and then headed to the printer. We carefully poured over it one final time. We raced through the rain – shielding the precious manuscript from getting wet – looking for the drop-off building. Inside, she filled out a form and handed over the thesis to the man behind the desk. He took it behind a door marked “Submissions” and that was that. Where were the balloons, the fireworks? Clearly, he had no idea of the milestone that was taking place.

Thesis printed and signed!

No matter. After, we had a hot drink and spent the afternoon sight-seeing with her sister, Shalini, and Jeremy, followed by a celebratory meal at the famous Eagle & Child Pub. The next day, we to the early bus to Heathrow, and I headed east to Kenya and Shivani went west to the United States to get ready for the big WCN Expo.

What’s next? At some point in the next couple months Shivani will return to Oxford for her viva where she defends her thesis in front of her review committee. From there, she is marked (graded), and she can do edits before the final submission after which she will receive her diploma and become Shivani Bhalla, PhD!

Shivani and Paul at Lady Margaret Hall, Univ. of Oxford.

Oxford

See all our blog posts at www.ewasolions.org

Annual KWS Carnivore Conference Held in Nairobi

Ewaso Lions attended and presented at the annual Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Carnivore Research and Conservation Conference in Nairobi from July 26th and 27th. It was an excellent opportunity to hear updates from our partners in large carnivore conservation across Kenya, and to inform the group of our latest activities in Samburu. This was our 5th time to present at this annual conference.

Jeneria, Ngila, and Emma at the KWS Carnivore Conference.

I provided an update on our conservation research and community programmes between 2011 and 2012. The update included progress such as lion monitoring in Samburu, the completion of a pilot study using camera traps, and new methods that the project has adopted in data collection. I ended my presentation by describing some new projects we are embarking on including Lion Watch, where tour guides from the reserves will use smart phones to get to know the lions of the area and share information with their guests, and Wazee Watch which will complement our successful Warrior Watch programme by focusing on engaging village elders.

Jeneria and Ngila gave presentations which were very well received. This was Ngila’s first time in Nairobi, his first time to give a presentation – and a presentation to the country’s key carnivore specialists! We are immensely proud of both Ngila and Jeneria. One of the KWS Senior Scientists even told the group, “It is great to have morans here giving presentations.”

Jeneria delivers a presentation on Warrior Watch at the KWS Canivore Conference.

Ngila and I gave a joint presentation on human-predator conflict and how reducing conflict is beneficial for both people and predators. He explained how the goals of the Ewaso Lions Conflict programme are to first collect all the baseline data relating to conflict depredation in the area and to analyse it to provide solutions for reducing this conflict. Ngila himself responds to conflict incidences and fills out a detailed questionnaire which includes information on the context, species, time, weather, etc. I continued by explaining the kinds of conflict we are seeing in Samburu, and providing recommendations for reducing livestock loss to carnivores.

Jeneria and Ngila delivered a presentation on our Warrior Watch programme. They explained how it was launched in 2010 with five warriors, and has now grown to involve 16 warriors in two community conservancies. Warriors report on wildlife sightings in exchange for education and a food stipend. Ten warriors can now read and write and use data sheets to collect information from the field on wildlife. Warriors have also been active in the field, where they have been using camera traps to capture images of wildlife and responding to conflict cases. Lastly, Ngila discussed a rigorous evaluation assessment of Warrior Watch which is underway.

We wish to thank all our partners who presented their work, and also the Kenya Wildlife Service for hosting this important gathering of the countries carnivore conservationists and researchers.

84 Runners Compete in Race Sponsored by Ewaso Lions

Our third annual “Running for Lions” half marathon was a great success.  Held on the 2nd of June in Westgate Community Conservancy, the run attracted 84 runners from all over the conservancy, including a few runners from as far as Wamba town.  We had a 21 km run for the elders and warriors, and a 7 km run for women and children.

The Ewaso Lions team did great!  Moses, our Ewaso Lions Scout, came in 3rd position in the Elders race; Letupukwa, our cook, finished in 3rd position in the Warriors race; AND Yesalai, our Assistant Community Officer, finished in 7th position in the Warriors run.  The rest of the team were scattered at check-points on the half-marathon course.

Start of the Half Marathon

On the route through Westgate Conservancy

Moses passes a check-point

Winner of the Half Marathon, Lengures

Ladies line up to receive their prizes

Ewaso Lions Team: Letupukwa (left), Yesalai (middle) and Moses (right)

Jeneria presents Yesalai with his prize

The Running for Lions 2012 Group

The event was sponsored by Westgate Conservancy, Sasaab Lodge, Carter Safaris and Ewaso Lions.  We are already looking forward to next year’s event!

Ewaso Lions Team Building Day

Taylor Tully writes about the Ewaso Lions Team Building Day that took place a few weeks ago in Westgate Community Conservancy, Samburu.

On November 6th, Ewaso Lions held its first Team Building event.  The day had 16 members of the Ewaso Lions team, including our Lion Scouts, Warriors and core staff, competing in various events that tested their ability to work as a team, as well as their physical prowess. The focus of the event was to build teamwork and strengthen communication, respect and trust among the staff.

The day started off with morning chai and discussions about teamwork, led by Shivani and myself.  To begin the competition, the team was divided up into four teams of four, each appropriately named after an African mammal. The first event was a scavenger hunt, followed by a relay race, fire-building challenge, blindfolded exercises and tug of war.  All of the staff really took to the games and you could feel the competitive energy in the air.

Taylor and team

Discussing Team Building with the Ewaso Lions team

Strategizing

The “Lion Team” strategize prior to the Scavenger Hunt

Fire challenge

Fire Challenge

Throughout the day, the competition was close and each team had its successes and challenges, but in the end, “Team Leopard” pulled ahead and won the team prize; four brand new kikois (coloured cloth).  Overall, the day was a great success and all of us saw an improvement in our communication, teamwork and sense of kinship.

Competitive team

The Ewaso Lions Team enjoying the events

Winning team leopard

The winning “Leopard Team” (from left to right): Yesalai, Ljarusi, Moses and Reria

Though I was busy running the event, my favorite part of the day was definitely the relay-race, which involved three stages: a three-legged race, a sack race and a “piggy-back” race.  We all shared many laughs during this event.   I also really enjoyed watching the teams complete the blindfold exercises, which involved team members directing a blindfolded teammate to walk through a “minefield” and erect a tent.

Tent erecting

Jeneria helps Francis erect a tent blind-folded

I really enjoyed coordinating and participating in such a fun event and thank Sasaab Lodge for funding it.

Update from Yale; Disneynature’s African Cats Event

Hi everyone, greetings from New Haven, Connecticut. It’s cold and wet and gray so naturally my thoughts are set on that Samburu sun.

I’m winding down my first year at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and it’s been a fantastic opportunity to get linked with a wonderful community of students and faculty from a wide range of environmental sectors. I’ve been able to explore large carnivore conservation from new perspectives, particularly from a social science approach. After all, lion conservation is not just about lions — it’s about people. And the methods we at Ewaso Lions use to promote lion conservation are very much driven by human needs. Next month I head back to Samburu to work on a project that will explore this link between people and lions. And I can’t wait to be reunited with the Ewaso Lions team!

Until then, I continue to represent the Ewaso Lions USA team. Last week I spoke at a special advance screening of Disneynature’s newest film, African Cats as part of the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale. The film features extraordinary cinematography of lions and cheetahs in the Mara. I have never seen a cheetah hunt quite like the one they captured in the film. And there’s a scene where a male lion confronts a crocodile that is pretty unbelievable.

We got a full house at the African Cats screening.

We got a full house at the African Cats screening.

After the film I held a question and answer session with Mary Wykstra from Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, a friend of Ewaso Lions and who is also getting her Masters here at Yale. Although the film lacked a conservation message, we had the opportunity to tell the 130 audience members about the pressing need to conserve Africa’s big cats. Perhaps my favorite part of the event was hearing the kids in the audience laugh, shout, and even chirp along with the cheetahs. I hope the film has a big impact on the next generation of conservationists.

Mary Wykstra and I gave a talk after the film.

Mary Wykstra and I gave a talk after the film.

Thanks, friends. I hope all of you are well.
Paul

African Cats opens in the US on April 22. If you buy tickets during the opening week a portion of the proceeds goes to our friends at the African Wildlife Foundation to support conservation.

Mara Connections

We recently returned from a fantastic trip to the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.  Although this provided us with a wildlife spectacle that most of us had only dreamed about before, we also got to meet some amazing people doing important work and establish crucial connections.  We first met the hyena researchers from Michigan State University who are based in the Mara Triangle monitoring the hyena population in this area.  We bumped into them on the road where we were engrossed watching hyena behaviour with their young outside a den.  Andy, the researcher, commented that it was one of the first times he had seen a group of community members watch hyena for so long and take so many photos!  Andy and his colleague from the hyena project hosted us for a few hours at their camp and we got the chance to learn all about their research in the Mara.  It was a great meeting and we were excited to have stumbled upon the researchers.

In November 2009, I traveled to the Porini Camps in Ol Kinyei and Olare Orok Conservancies where I spent a few days training their guides on lions and other predators.  I wanted to visit the camps again and check in with the guides and the lions!  We visited the Porini Lion Camp in Olare Orok and had the great privilege to spend a few hours with Philip the manager and two of the guides, Jackson and Meshack.  Our group benefited immensely from learning all about how this successful conservancy came to be and the success of the Porini Lion Camp as well.  We all learned a lot and enjoyed the discussions tremendously.  I was pleased to hear that the lions in Olare Orok were all doing well and numbers had increased.  It is a fantastic place to visit with predators everywhere!

Olare Orok

Our group gets to learn all about Olare Orok Conservancy and a successful eco-tourist camp in a community area

On our last day in the Mara, we connected with the team from the Predator Aware Project in the Siana Conservancy.  I had made contact with Betsy and Nick from Siana last year and have always followed their exciting news and progress through their blog.  I was thrilled to meet them at last.  The team hosted us during lunch and we spent the afternoon learning all about the Conservancy, the important work that the scouts and team carry out and the challenges they face.  This interaction between the Maasai scouts and our Samburu team was a real pleasure to watch.  They shared stories, challenges and successes  about their work.  We look forward to reciprocating and collaborating with the Predator Aware Project  in the future and encourage you all to support this project who are doing such vital work in this part of the Mara.

David Siana

Learning about the Predator-Proof Bomas in the Siana Conservancy

Siana rangers

The Samburu team interacts with the Maasai scouts from the Siana Conservancy

A very special thanks to the Hyena Project Researchers, Olare Orok and Porini Lion Camp, and the Predator Aware Project in the Siana Conservancy for their hospitality, kindness and all the information and knowledge they shared with us.

Ewaso Lions on TV

On the week of November 29, Ewaso Lions will be featured on the television show Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild. Each week, animal adventurer and host Jack Hanna takes viewers around the globe on wildlife expeditions. Into the Wild always has a strong conservation message about the pressing need to conserve wildlife and wild places, and often features the people who are working towards this, like Ewaso Lions. The show is produced in partnership with the Columbus Zoo, one of Ewaso Lions’ key supporters.

Starting November 27th, make sure you watch or record the episode “402 Pride of Sebona,” in which the film crew visits the legendary white lions of South Africa. At the end of the episode, there’s a short overview of Ewaso Lions, the team, and our lion conservation work in northern Kenya.

The air dates and times vary in each city, so check your local listings for the exact day and time. Click here to find when the episode is airing.

My First Flight

Today we have a special guest blogger: Jeneria, Ewaso Lions’ Head Spotter and Assistant. Here he recounts his first time to fly in a plane.

One day we collared a male lion called Lguret [See the blog on the collaring operation here]. We went back to Save The Elephants research camp to spend the night. The following morning we went out trying to find our collared lion but in vain. We went back to camp for lunch and also to have a break.

When I was napping I heard Shivani calling me. I woke up and Shivani asked me a question “Have you ever flown in an aeroplane?” I answered “no, why?” She said “I want you to go with Paul in Iain’s plane to try and find Lguret’s signal. We went to Iain’s office and she introduced me to Iain [Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save The Elephants]. Shivani asked if I can fly with them to try and find the lion. Iain responded very nicely and said no problem.

After few minutes we drove to the airstrip where Iain’s plane is. As I was in deep thinking my friend from S.T.E interrupted me asking me what I was thinking about. I answered am thinking about flying. “Ooh no let me tell you my friend, a plane is just like a car, the only difference is you feel like throwing up and your intestines come up your chest while the plane lands or taking off.” I really became worried! After few minutes of arriving to the airstrip we got into the plane. Everybody tightened his safety belt. Meanwhile Iain started plane.

Jeneria during his first flight in a plane.

It was my first day to fly in the air in an aeroplane and it was amazing to me. We flew around Samburu trying to locate the radio signal from the lion’s collar.
Fortunately the expected falling and throwing up didn’t happened. The things that frightened me were when the plane rolled or bent to make a corner, also when we went up and down the mountains. One time the plane dropped suddenly and I shouted and all the guys looked at me and laughed. I felt so embarrassed because I discovered that in the plane everybody is wearing the big earphones and can hear each other.

After some time we landed safely and I left the plane very excited. It was my wonderful day, very great and I will never forget in my whole life.

The Ewaso Nyiro River from above.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Jeneria, Paul, and the plane.

Ewaso Lions Mid-Year Report: News on Lions and Community Projects

Dear friends of Ewaso Lions,

We are pleased to present our Mid-Year Report to provide you with news from Samburu, information on our lion research and conservation activities, and to keep you posted on life in Camp. It’s been one of our most challenging field seasons yet – from severe drought to massive floods to increased threats to lions. The Ewaso Lions team pushes forward, working with communities, to ensure the long-term survival of Kenya’s top predators and other wildlife.

Lion News

We are currently monitoring close to 40 lions in the Ewaso ecosystem of Samburu. The lions did well during the drought of late 2009. All cubs survived and thrived when most other animals succumbed to the severity of the drought. Most of the females have cubs at the moment, including Magilani in Westgate. We are very excited to report that she was finally seen in April 2010 with two young cubs. She was last seen in August 2009, so it is a huge relief to see her again, especially with cubs.

Conflict:

Lions face high pressure from recent conflict. Lions are struggling to find wild prey and are turning to livestock. Recently in Westgate Conservancy, lions killed three camels; in response, we have held seven community meetings within the entire group ranch. We addressed the need to make bomas stronger with closed entrances so livestock does not escape and end up in predator territory. Herders need to be extra careful and avoid areas where lions are present. The meetings were well-received and the livestock owners have responded by reinforcing bomas to protect livestock better. We will be actively involved in a boma reinforcing project from May onwards thanks to support from our donors.

A lioness killed in retaliation by a person.

If conflict continues, things could get grim for the lions and we are working hard to continue with our awareness and education programmes. It is thanks to your donations that we are able to go out each day and hold meetings and travel around the group ranch talking to the communities about lions.

To read our blog on the increased conflict, click here.

Radio-Collaring:

After months of trying, we successfully collared the elusive male lion, Lguret, in late February. He was first collared in 2009 and it was time to replace his collar. It was no easy task to find him; we spent a total of 60 field days over the past eight months, averaging 12 hours each day, and driving nearly two thousand kilometers! Lguret now has a new radio/GPS tracking collar and we will be able to capture valuable movement data.

For photos and a detailed account on this collaring operation, click here.

Lguret, the radio-collared lion in Samburu.

We have begun to analyse the data from his old collar and preliminary results already show interesting patterns where he moved out of the reserves to areas where large numbers of livestock were present. Lguret was re-collared before the March floods and we are yet to know where he has gone during this time. We still have plans to collar at least four more individuals.

Collaring lions is very tough work and requires a lot of time and funds. We are grateful for all the donors who have assisted us so far and I urge you all to keep supporting us so we can monitor the Ewaso lions closely.

Camera Trapping:

Thanks to donors, we have acquired two camera traps for the project. Identifying individual predators in Westgate is difficult since they are nervous and often run away before we can take good identity photos. Plus, the candid photos of wildlife in the absence of humans may give us insight into some of their natural behaviours. Each night we place the camera traps in the Conservation Area of Westgate in strategic locations where we know lions, hyenas and other animals pass. It is always exciting in the mornings to go and check the cameras and see what the cameras have captured. So far, we have managed to get some great photos of elephants and hyenas (including one of a hyena biting the actual camera!). We have since built metal boxes around the cameras to deter curious and toothsome hyenas. In time, we hope to have a collection of ID photos to estimate the density of carnivores in this community area.

A spotted hyena captured by our camera trap.

Other Wildlife News:

Many animals died during the severe drought in 2009. Almost all buffalo, waterbuck, warthog and impala died during this time. The rains returned in October and the survivors made the most of the new grass shoots that emerged. Rains in March and April have created a lush green paradise in the reserves. Fattened oryx, huge herds of impala, gazelle and giraffe are scattered all over the reserves and elephants are back in large numbers.

We have been fortunate to have some good predator sightings, including our first cheetah sighting in Westgate. We are excited to have seen wild dogs on numerous occasions both in the reserves and in Westgate, including a pack that passed right behind our camp kitchen! We’ve also seen caracal and had a very special sighting of an aardvark. The vegetation has now begun to dry up and we are busy recording and monitoring all wildlife changes.

Wild dogs seen in the Conservation Area.

Staff News

Paul Thomson joined the Ewaso Lions team full-time in January. Paul has over five years professional experience in African wildlife conservation and is pursuing a Masters degree at Yale. Before joining Ewaso Lions, Paul worked with the African Wildlife Foundation in both Kenya and Washington, DC. We are very excited to have Paul join the team and you will be hearing a lot from him as well. Karibu sana Paul!

In April 2010, we employed two new field members. Moses Letitiya has taken over Jeneria’s position as Lion scout in the Sasaab region. Jeneria is now our head tracker and research assistant. Robert Lenongiro has recently started as Community Officer. Both Robert and Moses are from Westgate. Ricila is now in charge of the Warrior Watch programme (see below) and is Camp Chef. Joseph is Camp Manager and is being trained in data management.

The Ewaso Lions team.

PhD

After some challenges in 2009 due to the security troubles and severe drought, Shivani is busy catching up with PhD-related work and data analysis. She has about another year to complete her PhD with the University of Oxford. She will be traveling to Oxford towards the end of the year to begin writing her thesis. The guys will carry on with activities in the field and in Camp whilst Shivani is away.

News in Camp

Ewaso Lions Camp, located in Westgate Community Conservancy just outside Samburu National Reserve, has seen some real growth this past year. We finally have permanent shade, thanks to our new Mess structure kindly provided by Sasaab Lodge. It is no longer possible to pack up the whole camp in Gypsy the way we used to in 2008!

We still need a lot more in camp: more tents, tables, cooking items, and fuel. Our chairs are broken and solar battery has died. Also, with the rains, our bathrooms have all collapsed and need to be rebuilt. We appreciate any donation towards our Camp needs and are grateful to all of you who have supplied so much to date.

The project has just acquired a Toyota Landcruiser. The vehicle has been christened Winslow (don’t ask!) and is a great companion for the faithful Suzuki, Gypsy. Together, Winslow and Gypsy will allow us to expand the reach and impact of our work across our project area, which covers over 900 km2.

Paul driving around in Winslow, the new project vehicle.

We have hosted many visitors over the past few months. Christina Tsantes from Hunter College, New York, stayed with us for six weeks in July/August and greatly assisted with setting up of databases. Scott Smith from the Wildlife Conservation Society spent a wonderful week in camp in October and witnessed both the severity of the drought and the first rains. Stacey Gardebrecht visited and assisted us for a week in February, followed by Aimee Guha-Roy from the University of Oxford who helped with data and gained some field experience – little did she know she would arrive for the floods! We are happy to host Mary Wykstra and her team from the Action for Cheetahs in Kenya at our Camp whilst she conducts fieldwork in Samburu.

Warrior Watch

We are thrilled to announce our newest programme, Warrior Watch. Through Warrior Watch, Samburu warriors become active within their communities as wildlife ambassadors by reporting on wildlife sightings and issues such as conflict in exchange for a stipend and educational lessons. In partnership with Westgate Conservancy, we selected and trained the first six warriors in January. The programme is already showing signs of success: the warriors seem to genuinely enjoy their new roles; they’ve held meetings throughout the group ranch; and have attended over ten conflict cases in four months. We hope to increase the number of warriors in the programme and are currently seeking funds to enable us to do so. Meet the warriors and see what else they do here.

Shivani working with the warriors on predator tracks identification.

Sponsoring Students

We are happy to announce the first two students sponsored by Ewaso Lions, Samson and Edward. These bright boys completed primary school at Lpus Leluai here in Westgate Conservancy. Under the Ewaso Lions sponsorship, they will continue their education at a highly ranked secondary school in Meru, and their tuition will be covered for four academic years. We received donations from Christina, Nina, Kathy and Trey to enable the boys to go to school. At the end of their first term in their new school, both boys achieved a grade of B- in their subjects, and we are thrilled with these results. Meet the boys here!

New Book: Simba Stories

In May, Ewaso Lions will release Simba Stories, a book of poems, stories and illustrations that celebrate lions, all made by students from Lpus Leluai Primary School in Westgate. The artwork encapsulates their perceptions of lions as they parse together their own young experiences with those learnt in their community and through conservation education programmes. We will be distributing the book locally to increase awareness on the importance of lions and conservation.

Simba Stories will be available for purchase – the details will be posted online. Proceeds from book sales will be used to establish a Wildlife Club at Lpus Leluai Primary School. A very special thanks to Lindsay Morency for putting the book together and making it look so fantastic!

Floods in Samburu

On March 4th, Samburu was rocked by severe flooding, which left eight camps and lodges destroyed, hundreds of people without jobs, infrastructure ruined, and tourism essentially shut down in the area. We were very fortunate – the Ewaso Lions camp was not affected.

Ewaso Lions’ friends and donors responded quickly to our appeals and we were able to assist many Samburu residents with food and clothing. Things are now beginning to recover and lodges and camps are being constructed and repaired. We are yet to assess the impact on wildlife as so many roads are still impassable. See photos of the flood and its aftermath here.

Launch of Kenya’s Lion and Spotted Hyena Strategy

Ewaso Lions was represented at the launch of the National Lion Strategy. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officially launched it at an event in Nairobi on the 17th of February together with the strategies for spotted hyena, cheetahs and wild dogs. This management plan recognises the current and potential geographical range for lions and the threats facing them, and provides guidance for their conservation and management.

Ewaso Lions played an important role in the management plan by providing data and information on lions and hyenas from the Samburu region. Ricila & Mporian, warriors from our Warrior Watch programme, joined Joseph, Paul, and Shivani at the KWS headquarters for the launch. Mporian was given the honour of opening the ceremony with a traditional Samburu blessing.

Lion Research Safari

In January, we had our first Lion Research Safari in conjunction with Gamewatchers (a fantastic, eco-friendly safari company which has a number of Porini Camps in Kenya). Our guests, the Wills family of Scotland joined us during our research activities in Shaba and visited our community programmes in Westgate. For more information on Lion Research Safaris, and how they help our project, go to: http://www.porini.com/lion-research-safari.html

Kenyan Kids on Safari

We have now taken more than 40 young kids on game drives in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. Kenyan Kids on Safari (KKOS) and Todd Cromwell donated cameras, binoculars and a print station to Ewaso Lions to allow us to take young children in villages and schools into the National Reserves to see wildlife. Many of these children have never seen the big cats or elephants close-up and only get to see the negative side of wildlife. Together with Intrepids and Sasaab lodges, we have shown these kids a positive side of wildlife. We hope to take more kids on safari in 2010. For more, visit kidsonsafari.org

Children from Kenyan Kids on Safari.

Tree Project

We have planted 75 trees to date within schools and villages in Westgate. Unfortunately most of the trees died during the 2009 drought. We hope to resume and reenergize the Tree Project over the next few months.

Westgate Marathon

Together with Sasaab Lodge and Westgate Conservancy, we held the first-ever Westgate Marathon on the 1st of May, 2010. The Westgate Marathon was open to everyone. The theme was “Running for Lions.” The marathon was a huge success – we had 30 runners participate including five from the Ewaso Lions team. The winners will be sponsored to run the famous Safaricom Lewa Marathon in June. We hope to hold another Westgate Marathon in 2011 and this time both Paul and Shivani will be out there running for lions!

Joseph running in the Westgate Marathon.

New Ewaso Lions Logo

Ewaso Lions finally has a logo! Paul helped create the bold new logo, which will raise the profile of our growing project and has given our team a sense of identity. We now have stylish new shirts and decals on our vehicles bearing the logo. We hope you like it!

Blog, Facebook and Twitter

Ewaso Lions has launched a full-scale attack on the Internet. We’ve updated our website, we continue to blog as much as possible, and we are more and more active in growing our online community through our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please friend us, follow us, and send us feedback. Also, spread the word and encourage your friends to join Ewaso Lions.

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Thanks to you – our donors and partners – we have come this far in a relatively short period of time. Without your support, our work would not be possible. We are making real progress here, but there is still so much more to be done. We hope you will continue to support this important work as we continue to expand our research and conservation programmes.

Your donations and support are ultimately helping safeguard the future of lions, while improving peoples’ livelihoods, in the Ewaso region of northern Kenya. Donate online here.

For lions. For people. Forever.

With our very best wishes from Samburu,

Shivani Bhalla & Paul Thomson

Directors, Ewaso Lions

Contact

Ewaso Lion Project

P.O. Box 14996

Nairobi 00800

Kenya

Tel: (+254) 721 696 443

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ewasolions.org

Blog: www.ewasolions.wildlifedirect.org

Join Ewaso Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EwasoLions