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Kenyan wildlife authorities capture lion in residential area outside capital

‘The lion was successfully darted, immobilised and safely transferred to the (KWS) veterinary facility for observation collaring before being released back to the park.’
Image: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Kenyan wildlife authorities said on Wednesday they had captured a lion that had wandered into a residential area in a town south of the capital Nairobi.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said members of the public alerted them of the lion’s presence in the morning, prompting the authority to send rangers and veterinarians to the site.

“This morning, a sub-adult male lion was spotted stuck between a concrete wall and iron sheets in Ongata Rongai area,” Kenya Wildlife Service said on its Twitter account.

“The lion was successfully darted, immobilised and safely transferred to the (KWS) veterinary facility for observation collaring before being released back to the park.”

Videos posted on the KWS Twitter account showed its personnel wrapping the tranquilised lion in a canvas sheet and loading it onto a vehicle to be moved away from the residential area.

Human settlements have long been encroaching on the Nairobi National Park, Africa’s only game reserve within a capital city.

The park has been fenced in on three sides as towns grow around it.

Outside its unfenced southern side, there is a favoured refuge for breeding lions. Animals often pass through to make their way to larger parks beyond.

There are about 2 000 lions left in the whole of Kenya.

Conservationists say a new road and railway passing through the park were affecting animal behaviour and leading more big cats to try to escape in search of quieter hunting grounds.

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