Big Cat Fences

blog post photo

© Aeron Banfield / Aquavision TV Productions cc

Big cat populations in east Africa are declining. In the 1940s wild lions may have numbered 450,000 individuals, but today these populations have plummeted to as few as 20,000. And one cause for the demise of wild lions in rural Kenya? Livestock farmers. As these pastoralists strive to protect their livelihood by minimizing predation, big cats on the hunt often meet an untimely death.

But there’s hope. A new project, spearheaded by Anne Kent Taylor, builds upon an existing fence initiative in Mara that has proven a successful solution to minimizing human-big cat conflicts. This new undertaking includes securing and fortifying existing livestock enclosures (called bomas) with chain link fences to keep predators at bay and ensure no loss of livestock.

blog post photo

© Marc Goss / National Geographic Society

blog post photo

© Marc Goss / National Geographic Society

Anne Kent Taylor recently shared that the Maasai needed to be fully invested in the big cat project in order to be successful. So livestock owners took part in both the financial responsibility and physical installation of these chain link fences. To date, Anne Kent Taylor’s project has enjoyed 100% success, safeguarding more than 70 livestock bomas from predation and in turn protecting lions and leopards that would have hunted on those farms.

Read Anne’s posts on NatGeo News Watch about her work in east Africa and learn more about National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.

Video: Cause an Uproar!
Big cats are quickly disappearing. Now is the time to act.

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  1. Fan2376
    Las Vegas
    May 22, 2012, 12:55 am

    I watched a disturbing episode last of the lions with a baby cub that was trampled by buffalo and how can u guys just sit and watch that poor cub die I understand it’s nature but have a heart

  2. Fan2376
    May 22, 2012, 12:59 am

    The baby cub was even given a name junior so sad cause his pelvis was broken and he tried so hard to keep up and the camara crew just watched so ridiculous maybe he could have put in a Sanctuary till he got better but lions are going to be extinct and where just watching them die