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Lions return to Nairobi park after city excursion

Published 19/02/2016

The lions have been seen roaming in a residential area
The lions have been seen roaming in a residential area

Six lions have returned to Nairobi National Park hours after escaping from the reserve and spooking residents as they roamed through parts of the city.

The lions were first spotted near a hospital in the suburb of Langata, and later near Kibera, the capital's largest slum, said Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto.

A team of wildlife rangers went out to find the lions and return them to the park, but the big cats were later spotted back in the park, having made their own way back, Mr Udoto said.

The 45 square mile National Park, six miles south of Nairobi city centre, is home to endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and diverse birdlife.

It is unclear how the lions got out of the park, most of which is surrounded by an electric fence on the Nairobi side.

Occasionally lions clash with people on the southern side, which is not fenced.

In 2012, six lions were killed after a pride of eight attacked and killed eight goats belonging to Masaai herdsmen. Only about 2,000 lions are left in Kenya after years of hunting and poaching.

The government has announced plans to build a railway across part of the reserve. Conservationists have opposed the line, saying it will further damage wildlife habitat.

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