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Born Free USA Global Field Projects

About Lion-Proof Bomas

Published 07/06/11

A completed lion-proof boma.
More lion-proof boma project images

One of the major threats to lion populations is predation of livestock. When lions attack and kill livestock, the pastoralist community often retaliate by spearing and poisoning the lions. To help solve this problem, Born Free is using funds to carry out community outreach campaigns and construct lion-proof bomas around Amboseli National Park. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Living with Lions, Kenya Wildlife Trust and the Amboseli community. Four such bomas have already been constructed at Risa, Meshanani, Olgulului and Injakta villages.

Unlike the traditional manyatta, lion-proof bomas have strong posts placed 3 meters apart, a 1.8-meter-high, triple-twisted chain link fence and firm metal doors. Spiny shrubs are put on both sides of the chain link to strengthen the fence. One lion-proof boma can accommodate up to 800 cows and 400 sheep or goats!

Community participation has been excellent, both women and men have actively played their roles in the construction process. Giving up their own time, they dug holes for the fence posts, ferried the spiny shrubs and helped in the general construction process. It was a sigh of relief for many villagers who had been spending sleepless nights outside their manyattas guarding their livestock from predators. This is a win-win situation as community livestock is protected and therefore the lions are safe from persecution.

The construction of lion proof bomas by Born Free is one of the actions prescribed in The 2009-2014 national conservation and management strategy for lions and hyenas in Kenya.

Read updates about our lion-proof boma project.

See the lion-proof boma project's photo gallery.

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