Maasai herdsmen, Simindei Naururi and Kulangash Topmast, have been charged after allegedly poisoning the famous Marsh pride of lions in Narok, south-west Kenya, according to a Kenyan wildlife official.
The two reportedly doused a cow carcass with poison at the Maasai Mara Game reserve, resulting in two lions being killed (one not from the pride itself) and eight needing treatment for poisoning.
It is believed they took this action as they believed the lions, which were featured on the BBC wildlife programme Big Cat Diary, killed three of the herdsmen’s cows when they entered the reserve.
The Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) warned that other animals might have been affected after a posting on the pride’s Facebook page confirmed the poisoning.
A BBC wildlife crew member who attended the scene saw one of the two lions killed, 17 year old female Bibi, “foaming at the mouth, fitting and panting”.
According to KWS Corporate Communications Manager, Paul Udoto, the other was disfigured beyond recognition after being eaten by hyenas.
According to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, another lioness called Sienna is missing, but her two-year-old cub is believed to be receiving treatment from vets.