Justice for Lion Shot and Killed By Rangers

lion-irma-bense

Target: William Kibet Kiprono, Director of Kenya Wildlife Service

Goal: Suspend rangers who shot and killed Mohawk the Lion instead of subduing him via non-lethal means.

A popular 13-year-old lion named Mohawk was shot and killed by Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers after he escaped from the Nairobi National Park. Mohawk had wandered 12 miles into the town of Isinya, where a large group of several hundred people began crowding around him. Distressed by the “rowdiness and size of the crowd,” the animal attacked a man on a motorcycle, leaving him with bruises and lacerations to his back. It was at this point that the rangers on the scene shot Mohawk multiple times, killing him.

The lion’s death is tragic in that it was completely preventable. According to Perez Olindo of the Kenya Wildlife Conservation and Management Department, “There are many biological means of subduing lions and translocating them, which is purely the mandate of the KWS. Killing them is not part of the agency’s role and does not mean lions will not stray from the park.”

Many people are outraged and have questioned why the rangers did not elect to subdue Mohawk with nonlethal implements. The answer, apparently, is that they were not equipped with any. A team of veterinarians carrying tranquilizers were reportedly on their way to the scene when Mohawk was gunned down. It defies logic that the rangers would not be armed with tranquilizers, especially considering how common these incidents have become.

As reported by CNN, the Nairobi National Park, which is also home to endangered black rhinos, “is getting encroached on by lucrative development projects. The [Kenyan] government also started building a highway through a section of the park, agitating the animals with constant noise.” It is no wonder, then, that animals like Mohawk stray from the park.

Clearly, the KWS rangers who shot Mohawk are unprepared to deal with these increasingly common situations. Please sign the below petition to demand that they be suspended, the incident thoroughly investigated, and appropriate action taken to ensure that no other lions meet with Mohawk’s tragic fate.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Kiprono,

Like millions of other people around the world, I was shocked to hear of the killing of Mohawk the Lion by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers. These individuals should be trained and equipped to defuse these situations without resorting to lethal force. After all, their job is to conserve the animals living in Nairobi National Park, not kill them.

In light of Mohawk’s tragic death, I urge you to suspend the rangers responsible and launch a thorough investigation into the incident. Furthermore, in the interest of preventing similar incidents in the future, it is imperative that all Kenya Wildlife Service rangers are adequately trained on how to subdue capture animals without injuring them. Please see to this immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Irma Bense

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12 Comments

  1. Here’s a little pointer for you folks… If a lion is roaming around take your family and go home!! Head to a safe place away from the lion and let the Rangers do their jobs!! What freak throws rocks at a lion!! Get away and let the Rangers Handle it you morons!!

  2. You expect more from the Rangers — a higher standard — cool, rational & compassionate humans — needlessly killing Mohawk is poor judgment & irrational, not to mention immoral — these Rangers should be held accountable — they had alternatives BUT instead they chose to kill Mohawk — we do NOT want such repeat killings of our beautiful lions and other wildlife.

  3. Diana Rodriguez-Zimmerer says:

    Zero excuse for this. They didn’t have the supplies they needed, nor any crowd control skills whatsoever. The department needs to clean house from the top down. We should file a class action suit for how horrified and traumatized by this murder.

    • Eva Cantu says:

      WHAT NORMAL PERSON WOULD MOVE TO A LION’S TERRITORY? REMINDS ME OF THE IDIOTS WHO GO TO PARKS WHERE BEARS ROAM AND EXPECT BEARS TO JUST IGNORE THEM. THE WORLD HAS NO DEMAND FOR IGNORANT PEOPLE. IT IS SUICIDAL TO GO TO A PARK WHERE WILD,DANGEROUS ANIMALS LIVE.

  4. Basabi Banerjee says:

    In a similar situation in India, a cheetah escaped from the sanctuary, entered the adjacent city and after roaming aimlessly , entered a school.There was also a lot of chaos one of the staff of the forest department was severely mauled. But ultimately they managed to sedate the creature with tranquilizer and relocated it to its sanctuary. No life was lost. The African forest department should have been more alert and effectual than that of the other countries.

  5. Eva Cantu says:

    ONCE ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS ARE GONE PEOPLE WILL NOT VISIT THEIR SORRY COUNTRY. THINK ABOUT IT RANGERS, NO MONEY FROM TOURISTS.

  6. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared

  7. THE WILDERNESS IS NOT A VACATION SPOT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU KNOW WHOSE HOME THIS IS.

  8. Todd Fletcher says:

    Stop hiring dumb shits like these!

  9. Anita Culling says:

    Animals must be protected. Stop killing!!!!!!!

  10. One more death of a lion, supposedly being protected to live it’s life in the wild. Veterinarians in the worst case scenario for a National Park – an ‘escape’ – on their way with tranquilizer guns! So, this poor lion’s life is now subject to how the ‘Keystone Cops’ situation pans out – and we know all about that now. With so many lions resorting to killing each other or dying from hunger due to more and more diminished habitats, being shot by the tourists, after being pointed out by the rangers they have learned to trust since being tiny cubs, torn from their mothers and handled like milk bottles and poachers, anxious to gain from the illegal trade in body parts and skins – and then those that are charged to protect them – from ALL this – go gung-ho with guns on a shoot to kill afternoon. You ALL behave as if the entire planet and everything upon it belongs to one or two people – and it probably does – and are they just not perfect in the way they go about letting us all know about it. Absolutely sickening.

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