"Living with Lions"
AMBOSELLI ECOSYSTEM, KENYA, 25 FEBRUARY 2013: Images of "Lion Guardians" using telemetry to locate lions in the ecosystem outside of Amboselli National Park, Kenya, 25 February 2013. Lion guardians is a conservation program which recruits leading Maasai men, many of whom are former lion killers, into a system which monitors lions, confers a sense of ownership and pride in them and forms a Maasai vanguard which seeks to prevent other Maasai from hunting lions in retribution for cattle killing. Retaliatory and traditional spearing by Maasai warriors is the greatest threat to the survival of lions in Maasailand. the Lion Guardians program is unique in employing the traditional enemy of lions to conserve rather than kill them. The Guardians monitor spoor, use telemetry devices to track collared lions, and collect dna samples for analysis. They have also named all the lions in their area and recently produced identity cards which further reinforce notions of lion identity within Maasai communities.