Lion vs Maasai, Human Wildlife conflict

Human-Wildlife conflict

Human-Wildlife conflict is present everywhere in the world, where there is contact between humans and wild animals. It is a big problem in the modern era because many species are endangered. The real problem is not the wildlife but human interests.


Most times people think that economic interests have priority on all. But is not the correct approach to understand the problem. First, we can say something about the current anthropization of the territories. Actually, the world population is increasing and there is no way to stop it. This is meaning that we need more food supply and consequently we need more territory to produce food.

We can talk about it for days but to remain in the post line we can say that is the primary problem now even in the rural areas of Kenya and Tanzania. The problem is increasing and any year passing it becomes bigger.

The situation about Human-Wildlife conflict 

The reports of the invasion by the shepherds of public and private properties are increasing more and more. Most of the shepherds are not the owners of the herds. They are simply workers. The owners of the herds are rich people Maasai and not. The demands for meat is increasing, so there is a market, a good market. But the problem is that cattle need food to grow, they need territory where to grease.

It is not rare to see in some areas cattle managed by people with guns. And sometimes they use these. Like when they shot Kuki Gallman the famous Italian/Kenyan writer in 2017.  Kuki is the owner of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy. A beautiful ranch 300 km north of Nairobi and she is in Kenya since was 34. In her book Dreamed of Africa you can read her beautiful story.

Climate change and Human-Wildlife conflict 

Another big problem which helps Human-Wildlife conflict is the climate changing. Year by year the drought periods are longest. So this meaning that the deserts are eating lands from agriculture and pastoralism. Consequently the shepherds they feel they self as authorized to invade public and private protected properties.

The role of Maasai

Last and maybe the biggest problem is about the people living around the parks. The lands around the parks were been assigned to the Maasai people. Everyone has his own piece of land where he can stay and survive. It was an agreement between Govern and Maasai, Maasai must to stay out of the parks and has been paid with lands properties around the parks. This zone is a point of contact between people and animals and this inevitably creates Human-Wildlife conflict.

Now, they live outside the parks but they have an unsustainable number of cattle. So, for this reason, they need to go into the parks to graze. But into the Parks, there are the lions and all the savannah animals. The lions are happy because they find easy food without move a steep. But normally the Maasai revenge arrive and many lions and elephants are killed. They are punished when the Rangers find the cows inside the parks, but it does not work. The day after they are inside again.

Human-Wildlife conflict is a cultural problem

Consideration must be done, it is a cultural problem. The Authorities that are responsible to manage this problem must understand that is against his own country. The value of the wildlife presence is not only in the income by tourism. The entire ecosystem is at risk. When the ecosystem is compromised the human’s quality of life is compromised. They need to open their minds and think about a long-term plan, where parks and wildlife will be really protected. They need to include even the environment in the protection plan. To cut forests without reimplantation strategy is a terrible mistake. Sure it is a global problem but even a local problem, when you cut indiscriminately forest is very probably that the local climate will change. Maybe if they respect more their nature the drought will be a little bit less and the rain a little bit more gentle.

There is a solution?

To resolve the Human-Wildlife conflict probably will be necessary to fence all the parks. Apart from the Masai Mara where there is not a simple solution. The migration when encounter the fences will be stopped and this spectacular natural event will be lost forever.

In this video, we can see what’s happening every day and night inside the Kenya National Parks. Nobody can be happy if someone kills his animal, but here the issue is different, the lion is in the protected National park and even the cattle is inside the park.


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