National Geographic News
Photo of the lions of the Vumbi pride.

Adult lions and cubs from the Vumbi pride take a nap in the Serengeti heat in April 2011.

Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

David Quammen

for National Geographic

Published April 28, 2014

A lion's death is a common occurrence on the Serengeti plains, in northern Tanzania, where life is perilous even for the greatest of predators.

The deaths of four lions (two confirmed, two probable) and one Maasai warrior constitute a more notable smash of misfortunes, reflecting tension between ancient cultural practice and conservation in the borderlands of Serengeti National Park.

And when three of those lions have featured as star characters in National Geographic, we take note with special concern.

The news arrived last week by email from Daniel Rosengren, field observer for the Serengeti Lion Project, a long-term study run by Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota. On April 6, making his rounds to monitor lion prides, Rosengren detected a mortality signal (no movement) from the collar of one female, known as MH35.

Watch: Craig Packer, director of the Serengeti Lions Project, explains what makes lions social.

He found her, dead of spear wounds, and the transmitter lying nearby. No Maasai livestock were in the area, and from that and other evidence, Rosengren deduced it had been a ritual killing, not an act of protection or retaliation by herders.

Rite of Passage

Young Maasai morani (warriors) still sometimes hunt lions as a rite of passage, a voucher of courage and competence, although Maasai elders in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), along the park's eastern border, reportedly discourage it.

Six days later, in the same area, Rosengren heard another mortality signal, this time from the collar of a female called VUM, of the Vumbi pride. "She was one of my favorite lions," he told National Geographic by phone. "She was a really good hunter. She always took the initiative."

Maps showing Serengeti National Park and surroundings.
NG Staff. Sources: Craig Packer, Anna Mosser, and Ali Swanson, Lion Research Center, University of Minnesota

Using his directional antenna, he tracked VUM's transmitter into a water hole, where it had been discarded for concealment, and found the thing with his feet. Then he followed the smell of death upwind, almost 200 yards, and there was VUM's carcass in a bush, intact but for spear holes and the absence of a few claws, taken as trophies from her hind feet.

Twenty feet away lay a dead Maasai morani with a spear wound through his skull. (The name of the dead man has not been released.) In the chaos of armed men surrounding the desperate lioness, he evidently had been caught in the line of fire. Maasai tradition doesn't entail burial for fallen warriors, and the scavenging vultures and hyenas hadn't yet arrived.

Two other members of the Vumbi pride, Rosengren suspects, have also recently been killed. Confirming the death of any non-collared lion is difficult, amid the wide spaces of the Serengeti, and their bodies may never be found.

Can Good Come From This Tragedy?

These losses are catastrophic for the Vumbis—and bad for the Serengeti lion population in general—unless somehow the deaths help catalyze changes in management policy.

It might happen. On Saturday, April 26, Craig Packer and Ingela Jansson, a Swedish member of Packer's project who works on lion-human conflict, met with the conservator of the NCA, Freddy Manongi. They discussed the possibility of a "performance payment system," as used in Jansson's native Sweden to mitigate conflict between the Sami people, the reindeer they keep as livestock, and the wolverines and lynx that sometimes prey upon those reindeer.

The concept involves government payments but not of the usual sort: not in compensation for lost livestock but as reward, on a case-by-case basis, to those herders who tolerate the presence of predators.

"It's very sensible," Packer said after the meeting. "You're rewarding for conservation, rather than paying compensation for lost livestock." If applied in the NCA, with a few modifications to suit local conditions, such a system would bring direct financial benefit to local Maasai for each lion they tolerate within their grazing lands.

Manongi will soon meet with traditional Maasai leaders to discuss, among other things, the performance payment system. "It's an opportunity for us to explain this kind of scheme," he said by phone. The elders must be consulted. Deliberations will be cautious. But if their hot-blooded young men are paid as lion-tracking scouts, warning grazers to avoid this cat or that one, defusing lion conflicts before they happen (as has been done by the Lion Guardians program, in nearby Kenya), then living lions could serve as an even better voucher of courage and competence than dead ones.

"We will perhaps try a pilot scheme," Manongi said.

Photo of a dead lioness and a police officer.
A police officer inspects a dead Vumbi lioness found speared and killed by Maasai.
Photograph by Daniel Rosengren

C-Boy Alive and Strong

One other piece of good news emerged with the bad. Readers of National Geographic may remember a magnificent, black-maned male, known as C-Boy, protagonist of our 2013 story. Rosengren hadn't seen him for several months, and amid the spate of lion killings, that too caused worry.

But then a couple of days after VUM showed up dead, Jansson returned to the area in her Land Rover, with two young Maasai. They spotted C-Boy, robust as ever, mating with a female. "Massive mane, big chunks of dreadlock. He's in good shape," by Jansson's report.

The two young men had never before had an opportunity to admire a great lion, at close range, from the safety of a vehicle. They were inspired.

54 comments
Cece N.
Cece N.

I believe that we should respect animals, especially endangered animals. But also I think it’s very important to keep your culture and family history. I believe they can have similar rituals but maybe use a different sacrifice. Also I disagree with the Africans tradition of not having a burial for the fallen warriors. They left that Maasai warrior to die and don’t even show respect. That makes the gift of life to them, very unimportant. I would love to see them change their rituals, on their own without the help of the government. I believe they should choose what’s best for their culture and tribe. They should consider in their decision, the population of lions, their elders, but mostly the future of the tribe. I agree with Manogi, that if we warn grazers to avoid this lion or that lion, a better act of courage might be a living lion rather a dead one. This environmental issue can be solved so I agree and disagree with this article.

David Seabaugh
David Seabaugh

Bad luck for all the animals of Africa that they share a continent with the most culturally, intellectually, politically, and socially backward people on the planet. Post colonial sub Saharan Africa has demonstrated absolutely no ability to successfully govern themselves, or to even be able to restrain themselves from slaughtering each other. The animals never had a chance. Rhinos, and possibly elephants, will be extinct in the wild during most of our lifetimes. On which other continent would a tragedy like this be allowed to occur?

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

I hate when ever the bleeding heart whites speak of cultures of any kind, they ignore the pledge of suffering ( silent & invisible ) of women & girls who have zero right to speak !

Recently hundreds of school girls were kidnapped in Nigeria . Now they were thought to be sold as slaves. Yes, slavery has been around since the dawn of civilization world wide . Should we keep it ? Let's be consistent here .

Just because it is some tradition . Be it fair or humane . Cruel or deadly .

From my culture & religion animals have souls & feelings . So killing one for one's want instead of one's need is bad karma !

There r lot of wisdom among women folks . Wish girls were valued as much as a cow !

A few lions is too many since the number is so few ! Lion society is different . Lost of one can lead to loss of many more lives.

Lions thru out Southern Africa are feline h.i.v. Positive excluding those in utosha & okvango dealta .

They as I say will extinct within our life time if things r the way it is including trophy hunting , poisoning , poaching, off balancing the number of lions v.s. Hyenas ( since they are never wanted as victims of Masai rituals or trophy ), inbreeding, livestock & human encroachment & lion bones sold as tiger bones to Asia !

Time is against them . If their number were as numerous as elephants ( half a million thru out Africa with zero natural enemies ) , things might be a bit diff !

Joshua Bond
Joshua Bond

In keeping with some of the previous comments, it is very easy to be mislead by this article. It is a well established rite of passage within the maasai culture, yes, but it is one that is tailing off following the informative approach of researchers out there teaching the generations of the maasai the importance of conservation. And the maasai now play a key integral role in the defence of these lions from poachers, and without them the limited body of security available in the Serengeti would struggle to uphold resistance against poachers.

Further, the Maasai culture (though I have not yet been able to experience myself as I am only in my first years of travel) appears unique and incredibly beautiful, colourful too. It is important that whether we orientate our views around human or animal conservation, we treasure both the conservation of human culture, and the conservation of such beautiful animals equally. Thus we should respect the suppression of this hunting tradition within the Maasai, which now appears to take only a few lions a year (this event seems to be quite an exception), and admire their efforts to protect the animal they not so long ago viewed as their enemy.

It is important that 'changes in management policy' `do not force infringements on the Maasai's traditions, but instead we maintain an informative and interactionalist approach by teaching the young Maasai of the beauty's of the lion, and slowly we may see an end to this rite of passage, an end initiated by the Maasai itself, not it's western counter parts within the Serengeti.

Samuel Hayden
Samuel Hayden

I think people are getting mislead and aren't truly understanding.

You can argue that we're in the 21st, but the Maasai Mara tribe, among many tribes have stuck to their traditional roots, something to be encouraged.

Although some warriors continue to kill lions as a rite of passage, and there are some conflicts of lions taking livestock and then being killed, many Maasai have left this tradition in the past and some even help scientists with conservation of lions.

If any problem, shouldn't it be that lions can be hunted in some reserves in Africa, by people who pay to do so?

from And us in the West can't really judge them hunting lions as a rite of passage, we're completely different cultures, and quite frankly we are nobodies to judge that tradition.

José Lira
José Lira

The ancient fight of two worlds...!!!

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

If u bother in look, nomad hunters & gatherers are traditionally better for the environment and they have hell lot more respect for all wild animals especially the predators hated or demonized by herders ! I.e. The old native Americans , the kalahari San people & the natives in the amazon ! These natives used to own no more than their hands or backs could carry. Men each had only one wife. Could only afford one or 2 little kids at a time ! Why? No wheels or horses then . Ever since the invasion of herders & farmers , both demand land , grass land and clean water, these tribes were forced into smaller areas .

Even herders do not eat grazers , their domestic animals push out the native grazers & deprive them of grass & weather. Because all predator like lions r territorial , their meals are fewer & harder to find. Facing those cows , goats or donkeys that do not run away, the meat eaters must eat them to survive & raise their babies !

Even then from one study in sumburu , lions only take 20 per cent of livestock! While hyenas take 40 , and the rest go to leopards & cheetahs". Yet all the loss is lions solely take the blame.

There r far more hyenas & they take more than one cow at a time at nite. These animals can run all nite! While lions get tired after several hundred meters & are too big to hide ! So they r easier targets , chasing & gathering a clan of hyenas takes all nite long ! Can u image men running all nite with one hand holding a flas light & other a spear ?

Since the coming of herders, kalahari people whose hunting ground used to be the whole area that was south of the equator , now is limited to the desert of kalahari . Sort of like the Native American Indians living in the white man made reserves that no herders wanted ! Now these natives are herders with hunting dogs & guns. And yes, they hate lions and other meat eaters as all the herders in the world ! Once lions & all wild animals were respected by hunters & gathers , now they are vermin . People have changed , but not the nature & the character

Of these cats .

Bears, bipod cats, jaquarrs, lions, leopards, tigers, wolves & coyotes are leaving us all over the world, wonder why & by whom? Wildebeests & other grazers will go too when the grass & water are reserved only for livestock & people .

Vonne Pitcher
Vonne Pitcher

This is the 21st century yet the Maasai cling to stone age rituals.  What's that about?  Aren't they now informed enough to know better. 

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

Janice I know how u feel ! But you r up against those blinded by white guilt ! What is culture or tradition ? Things a bunch of men are allowed to do for generations ! So it is made made ! Thus it cannot be all good or perfect ! & usually favors the men !

Many girls & women have suffered silently thanks to rituals or tradition ! In some cultures , in breeding is ok ! & before Christianity came along , some culture ate humans ! So should they continue their ways ?

Beating one's wife is nothing new , and it happens to women for hundreds of thousands of years to make wives behave. So I assume Paige would be happy to comply if her hubby wants to slap her a bit ( if he is non white ) . In most cultures, men hit their silly or disobeying wives . Kids too ! And in the Middle East, it gets worse !

So proud of culture or the old ways, they better give up the western stuff like medicine, cell phones, cars, electricity, cigarettes , t.v. , domestic dogs, corn & other imports . Do not know about cows . They may even be imported from Europe or Middle East

Janice H.
Janice H.

This is deeply upsetting to me. Back when there were more lions, there was a time and place for ritual. But now is not that time. Predators world wide are teetering on a very dangerous ledge, and these rural communities somehow need to accept and understand why this is a problem. Sure it doesn't seem like a big deal if a predatory species dies out, but in reality, it's a travesty and deeply detrimental to the local ecosystems.

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

I know, these Morgans acted as poachers , getting into a national park & killed forfun

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M.

When I was in Tanzania in November, I was under the impression that the Massai weren't allowed in the Serengeti and that the Ngorongoro Conservation area was their "herding/hunting" land.  I had the pleasure of seeing some lions with radio collars on.  What a shame to lose a lion to a ritual when their numbers are decreasing.  I understand culture, but how do you help culture to understand preservation?    

Paige Edmondson
Paige Edmondson

D Flagg the only advice I can give you is to go and spend some time in Maasai lands. Go understand the relationship that this great culture has to the land it has preserved so that people like you can experience the African Wilderness. Do you ever ask yourself why this nature even exists in Africa? Couldn't possibly have anything to do with African culture. The Maasai live a sustainable existence. They don't create massive amounts of waist or use more than they need. They don't believe in hunting animals for meat and it was elders of their tribe that donated all the land that now makes up the Maasai Mara Reserve. I would like to see that kind of conservation come from what you consider the evolved culture that is yours. 

"i don't WANT to understand and preserve their barbarism! LOL just because you have an endemic culture does not mean it should remain stagnant."

You in my opinion are the one who shows a total incapacity to evolve intellectually.

Paige Edmondson
Paige Edmondson

Callan that man was not poaching he was practicing an acient ritual that has been part of his culture for thousands of years. The ritual had it's place in their society before modern Safari hunting and poaching diminished the populations. Lions are not disappearing because of the Maasai. They are also victims. The great Serengeti and Maasai Mara, where the longest and largest land animal migration happens in the world would not exsist if it wasn't for the Maasai tribe. The land in these area's are not fit for agriculture. The only way people can sustain a living is with cattle and that is also their culture. Introducing agriculture changes the lives of people who live a sustainable existence. It is almost impossible to keep elephants out of crop areas in deep Mara... which only creates more tension between the people and wildlife.

Susana Lalonde
Susana Lalonde

Thank you for reporting & for the lion program, hope things will work out for everyone.

Callan Thompson
Callan Thompson

I am glad that person died after killing the lion. I believe people who poach should be poached like animals. :)

shiyazer raf
shiyazer raf

Why does the government encourage cattle farming in those villages? why dont they do agriculture such as fruits/vegs? then it will be in a controlled area withing the proximity..and there many ways to stop animals entering a farm land without killing them or hurting them...

y. huo
y. huo

I agree with you,The earth not just belong to human.


D Flagg
D Flagg

I believe the age of ritual killings has LONG past. Honestly, I don't care if cultures --- even our own native Americans, need to ritualize killing -- it only shows a total incapacity to evolve intellectually. --- and is wrong no matter what the excuse!

Elly Mwesiga
Elly Mwesiga

We need animals alive other than cultural perfomances

Navaya Ndaskoi
Navaya Ndaskoi

From the story it is obvious that the lions matter to the author. The lions and lionesses are the fallen heroes and heroins? What about the life of the Maasai? "Great news that the warrior died. Feel bad for the lions though." This is set to drive even more lions and lionesses to the brink of extinction. Give it any bad name including “rite of passage” and even “ancient cultural practice.”

Lions are not roses to the Maasai and their livestock. They are killed in retaliation and even to prevent them from attacking potentially.

And the experts? Prof. Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota knows that many more lions and lionesses and their young are killed in Tanzania by the notorious rich men and women from North America and Western Europe. Did you hear these experts attacking the so-called sports hunters like they do the Maasai? To the cats, what is the difference between being shot dead by tourists and being speared dead by a Maasai? This world, uh! It is full of characters!   

Elizabeth Chandler
Elizabeth Chandler

@David Seabaugh  Excuse me! Their cultures have thrived like this for thousands of years and surprisingly are mostly INTACT given the infleunce of Europe and America! And need I remind you that the arrogance and ignorance (not to mention greed) of those same colonial powers that abandoned ship as soon as it was no longer PROFITABLE to stay, are the main reason that these animals began to go extinct in the the first place?!

Cece N.
Cece N.

@S.w. Tsang Im very interested in what your saying...

I believe that we should respect animals, especially endangered animals. But also I think it’s very important to keep your culture and family history. I believe they can have similar rituals but maybe use a different sacrifice. Also I disagree with the Africans tradition of not having a burial for the fallen warriors. They left that Maasai warrior to die and don’t even show respect. That makes the gift of life to them, very unimportant. I would love to see them change their rituals, on their own without the help of the government. I believe they should choose what’s best for their culture and tribe. They should consider in their decision, the population of lions, their elders, but mostly the future of the tribe. I agree with Manogi, that if we warn grazers to avoid this lion or that lion, a better act of courage might be a living lion rather a dead one. This environmental issue can be solved so I agree and disagree with this article.


S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

U r talking about a bunch of young men ! Usually spells trouble deadly trouble to some . Why do u think military drafts men young ? And most violence crimes or violence done by young men . I do not care who ., where's& what culture, it is biology & the matter of egos !

Tigers killed for old men to keep their manhood ( drinking tiger blood or eating tiger penis) , death of lions let men have theirs.

So u would think these boys or men want to keep as many wild lions as they can so that there will be wild lions for the future want to be ?

When people use tradition as an excuse to gain fame or thrill , their brain is put on back seat . Do not forget, it is tradition for many old culture to marry child brides whose are under even age of ten ! That is letting men to have sex with little girls !

So I assume those who think killing these innocent ( because these had not killed any livestock ) is ok, then they must think having sex with children , wife beating , whaling hunting by Japanese, in breeding , slavery , prostition , consumption of rhino horns, child labor and drinking tiger wine are just fine because such things are ancient and have been done for thousands of years !

David Seabaugh
David Seabaugh

@s.w. Twang. You are absolutely correct about liberal, white guilt hypocrisy regarding women's rights. Liberals in the U.S. Are particularly guilty of this illogic. They claim to be the biggest supporters of women's rights but will not even acknowledge that Muslim women are treated worse than livestock, are the possessions of their husbands and live their lives in cloth bags. It's much more important to them to perpetuate the "all cultures are equal" myth.

"The only proven solution to poverty is the empowerment of women" -Christopher Hitchens

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

So I was right , cows originated from Asia ! So cattle herding is not as African as u think ! Not that long ago , a little over 10,000 years ago while lions roamed thru out wild Africa ! So u cannot say Masai have been herding is ancient . Couple thousand years is modern history to lions which orignated in Africa over a million years ago !

http://archaeology.about.com/od/domestications/qt/cattle.htm

Navaya Ndaskoi
Navaya Ndaskoi

@Bonnie M.The Maasai are literarily land less. They were evected from Serengeti in 1959. Today they are little better than slaves in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. All this in the name of "preservation." The experts can easily see "lions with raido collars on." The Maasai cleverly target these very same lions to send a powerful message to the notorious preservationists who trample human rights in the name of cats preservation. So what is the future of these cats?

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

Yeah but they kill lions for fun , manhood or whatever ! Eliminate them by making killing them a ritual for young men is ones leak way to kill off a species that should be listed as endangered in the first place ! By the way, these guys did not obey their elders ! Not warriors to me ! Especially a gang of men with spears against one dumb animal ! These cats had not killed any livestock . So ... No reason for killing ! In a park as u said given by the elders ! There r not enough lions to go around to be killed by so many young men or their needs . When they run out of lions to kill, then what ?

Pick on some other species ? Love to see eles . That would take so real team work. Then I bet the world woulh go nuts . Lions killed , who cares !

Janice H.
Janice H.

@Paige Edmondson  An interesting approach for sure. I strongly agree that understanding the history and the culture of these native groups is very beneficial to the conservation fight. Some groups have worked well with conservation groups and are willing to fight the good fight. Wise elders have understood and donated great amounts of land. However, D Flagg does have a very good point in that the time of ritual killings is past. The ecosystem can no longer support it. At some point, when the predatory species have recovered and begun to flourish again, maybe they can consider ritual hunts again, in controlled settings, but we just cannot sustain them right now.

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

It was poaching because the elders gave the land to the government ! It is not theirs any more ! How would u like the house u live in taken by some one who had owned that house once ! Giving is removing claim to the property ! Thereby relinquishbp whatever right u once had! If I give you some precious thing which u love, would u like me to take it back?

I bet u would call me evil or mean if I take possession of a toy of mine from a kid even though I have given it to him . Now I want it back for whatever reason , so what he loves it & is crying to want it back! Too damn bad . It has been with my family for generations !

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

Thousands of years ? Masai migrated from the northern part of Africa down to. Kenya & Tanzania 400 years ago . Cattle destroy grass land by over grazing .Since they r herders, having the rituals of killing lions is one sure way to eliminate the potential cattle raiders ? So I heard from a lion guardian that hyenas are worse than lions because hyenas do kill as many cattle or goats as possible while lions may just take one at a time .

What so brave about hanging up on a cat with spears or dogs ? Killing take a moment or two , while raising a lion from a cub takes years of hunting, luck, skill, patience & strength ! If one truly wishes to show bravery & character, try to be a protector or mother of a lion or a human !

Cutting down a tree takes muscles & metal . But it takes a miracle for a seed to grow into a mighty tree !

Sadly in all old cultures, young men kill to gain fame & glory ! What does it say about the damn human race ? There r billions of us while there only 20,000 wild lions left. There r about 2000 in Serengeti, and how many hundreds of thousands of Masai men & boys ? They will run out of lions to spear ? Then what would happen to the so called manhood ? Go outside of Tanzania & shop ?

By the way , these guys disobeyed their elders . Where I came from , an older culture than the Masai I assume ( Chinese ) , disobeying one's elder is shameful . The elders should do some good preaching to these young men !

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

Actually I heard farming has been disaster to some. But many r farmers & they use pesticides which has killed lions & vultures. Not mentioning polluting the precious water !

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

but ego of man rules over God ! As I said , there r only 2000 lions left there while over hundreds of thousands of Masai men. They will run out of lions to kill for their egos ! One manhood . It is all in the mind . Why men so dearly worship violence and supported by women !

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

These lions did not kill any livestock ! Read the damn article again will u , old man

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

These lions did or had not killed any live stock ! Remember ? Or are u having a senior moment ?

Lions r not roses to livestock, what do u think they will extinct. Within our life time ? Why do u think endangered species like snow leopards, jaquarrs , wolves, tigers , cougars and Indian leopards are in big trouble ? All because of cattle & livestock !

Check on all big cats , all are in trouble of extinction ! So I would not be so damn proud if I were u !

They kill livestock to survive. & feed their families ! They are there long before cattle which originated from India ! I bet so were goats too .

Lord Shiva rided on a bull to earth from heaven. Thus the Indian sacred cow . Now that is truly ancient ! Wild bulls were domesticated 10,000 years ago in India ! Then cows were moved onto Europe to Africa !

While lions have been there for about a million years !

Janice H.
Janice H.

@Navaya Ndaskoi  It doesn't matter who is doing the grunt of the killing. All of it needs to stop. The population cannot support it, even as few as 4 every now and then for a ritual killing. Poaching these animals needs to stop period, no matter who is doing the hunting, whether they be an ethnic group, or some great westernized hunter with his big fancy guns. 


And honestly, when there are less than 200,000 lions left in the wild, while there are billions of people, one person's death, while lamentable, isn't even a drop compared to the impact the death of one lion can be.

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

Yeah but these 4 did harm no one ! They were just being alive & being lions ? So it is a death sentence to be lions ! No wonder they are endangered & will go extinct within our life time which is good for them . Reason is climate change will dry up the land of the Masai ! So who will suffer ? Not the lions because they will be gone forever from this hell called earth ruled by men Or the egos of men or women

Alexandre Silva
Alexandre Silva

@Navaya Ndaskoi  You really have a point here. But I'd like to remember that the trophy hunters (most of them) are hunting in farms where animals are bred for this purpose and it might be a chance of future for lions' population. On the other hand, greed have reached the maasai. If a "warrior" kills a lion he goes to the tribe and perform dances, which are supposed to be telling about his great heroism. The "protected" people pay him for the protection. Happens that there are too many heroes willing to get paid and most of the stories are lies except the dead lion. The payment is live cattle. 

The action is very simple to understand: A warrior comes up with a created story of lion attack, kills the beast, goes to the tribe and dance inside the herders' houses and they pay him with the maasai wealth which is their livestock. The outcome is less one lion and  a richer warrior.

David Seabaugh
David Seabaugh

@Elizabeth Chandler OK, so what's your point? You seem to be upset by my comment, but then you perfectly articulate my argument in your last sentence. Thank you for agreeing with me that it is sad that these animals happen to live on a continent with people who cannot govern themselves, much less wildlife. You are absolutely correct that as soon as the colonial powers left everything fell apart.

Navaya Ndaskoi
Navaya Ndaskoi

@Janice H. @Paige EdmondsonEven if it were only one lion remaining on the planet the Maasai will kill it when and if they can. As long as arrogance continues in the wildlife preservation field.

Paige Edmondson
Paige Edmondson

@Janice H. @Paige Edmondson

I am not supporting the ritual killing of an endangered species but I am saying if you have not walked in a Maasai's shoes you have no right to judge his right of passage. They have been beating villagers, burning their homes, and killing Morans in the name of conservation for years and they are no closer to a solution. If you want to make a difference you have to empathize and understand the struggle of those you are trying to help. The Maasai way of life is beautiful and it has it's place in a modern society. They are learning to adapt and changing rapidly in their search for a place in the modern age. Many of the young maasai men I work with have smart phones and communicate with me while I am traveling on facebook. When you know the people, that young man's life means a lot more to you. He is simply a product of his environment as are you. I bet you do a lot more on daily basis to destroy the future of this planet and it's species diversity than he does in a lifetime. 

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

I bet what these guys killed were rhinos or eles, these navaya & Paige would go nuts ! One thing that is universal that is all men , brianless men or weak men love to kill ( things that appear to be scary but is a sure kill ) ! Another universal truth is we, humans play favoriates ! Patents love one kid over another if they r or can be honest !

Just like those guys who fight bulls ! They know their chances are high ! And they have trained years! & the bulls are weakened first by having them bled first to weaken them. Before all that ritual of spearing the bulls' necks, they put petrol jelly to burr out the vision of the bulls !

Bulls are mighty to us , but an almost sure kill done by many helpers

Navaya Ndaskoi
Navaya Ndaskoi

@S.w. TsangLions are "endangered & will go extinct within" your life time because few see a problem when the Maasai kill them but play blind when rich from the North kill them.

Navaya Ndaskoi
Navaya Ndaskoi

@Alexandre Silva @Navaya NdaskoiNo. There are no hunting farms in Tanzania. Trophy hunters hunt in fact 'a stone throw from' Serengeti National Park. And the cats do indeed kill livestok and humans even. You can call this make up if you like. I have seen soldiers dance when they kill the enemy. The Moran are not different. Finally check you facts about "payment is live cattle. Honestly where did you get this from?

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

These lions did not kill anything ! Those men were the killers !

S.w. Tsang
S.w. Tsang

All humans lies & all r slaves of their egos . Warrior wants more wives to give warrior more sons & more cows ! So what is so unique ? It is a man's world again ! In Asia , tigers r killed for men's consumption, in Africa, lions r killed for pride ? Both r ruled by men & both have the tradition of many wives !

cherenet h.
cherenet h.

@David Seabaugh  be mind that we are losing our wildlife mainly due to greedy European, Asian and American traders who trade on ivory, skins  and other products. and I think this is the point that Elizabeth Chandler raised! but with regard to traditional killing for sake of image and respect we African's are responsible. what I want to say is that we all have a stake to combat destruction of wildlife.

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