Maasai tribesmen spear 2 lions in Kenya


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Maasai tribesmen on Thursday speared two lions that strayed out of Nairobi National Park in Kenya, killing at least one, said a conservationist with contacts in the community where the incident happened.

The spearing occurred one day after wildlife officials shot and killed another lion that had wandered out of the same park and injured a man who was part of a large, noisy crowd that gathered around the big cat.

Maasai leaders said residents attacked the two lions when they roamed onto community land, according to Michael Mbithi, a lion researcher. Mbithi had heard about the lions being on the loose from sources and alerted the public that they were out of the park.

A wildlife tracking team recovered the carcass of one dead lion, said Paul Gathitu, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Some people protested the killing of the lion in Wednesday’s incident. They said the lion should have been captured, but wildlife officials said they had to kill the lion after it became too agitated because of the surrounding crowd.

On March 18, a lion mauled a pedestrian in Nairobi before being captured. Nairobi National Park, on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, is under growing pressure as the city expands.

In South Africa, officials said Thursday that they captured a male lion that escaped from Karoo National Park earlier this week. The lion was darted in the mountains and workers planned to carry it in a stretcher for 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) to a vehicle, the parks service said.

It was the lion’s second escape from the park, located in an arid, sparsely populated area. Wildlife officials originally said they would have to kill the lion, but then said they would consider other options, including relocating it to another park, after an outcry from people who wanted the lion to be saved.

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Christopher Torchia contributed from Johannesburg.