If you want to see the news history of Mr BRRRRR, choose him from the list of categories
The George Adamson Wildlife Trusts greatly regret having to report that Mugie, the young sub-adult lion being reared at Kora was attacked on Thursday 11th April at around 8pm by a pack of at least eight hyenas, probably more.
Despite the successful efforts of Jamie Manuel, his minder, to disperse the attackers and the subsequent attention by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust / KWS veterinarian based in Meru Park, his horrific wounds were just too severe for him to stand a chance of recovery and he died at 4am on Saturday 13th April.
It is always difficult in such territory to determine how best to prepare young animals for the wild and to protect them in the process. It is a fine line. In Mugie’s case he had his own boma but it was quite customary for him to be free at night as he had shown considerable ability to look after himself and avoid trouble. Often he just refused to go back into his boma in the evenings if he did not feel like it. This is also a natural growing process in becoming comfortable in the wild.
That was the case on Thursday. There had been no previous hyena problems of any note and no reason to suppose that would change. He was old enough and big enough to see off a handful of hyenas and had done just that in the past. What was not foreseeable was the appearance of such a large rampant pack that had gathered around an elephant carcass less than 2Kms from camp. Poaching, and poisoning, in Kenya has paved the way for such packs to congregate and cause real trouble.
Perhaps if the previously planned arrival of several other orphan cubs in the care of the KWS Orphanage in Nairobi had been able to go ahead some time back as had been indicated, a young pride would have been formed and the old philosophy of safety in numbers would have kicked in.
All those concerned with the raising of Mugie are obviously profoundly affected by this event. In the words of the daughter of Mike Harries, a long term activist and supporter and regular visitor to Kora: "You were able to give Mugie a year of learning of what it is like to be a real lion out in the bush, rather than his endlessly pacing up and down the perimeter of a cage for the rest of his life”. Such a sentiment is well placed and will encourage and strengthen all who worked with Mugie. They have the complete support of the Trusts as they continue to strive with this essential conservation work, especially as lions are fast becoming an endangered species in many areas throughout their range in Africa.