City scare as lions escape from park

Thursday June 18 2009

Kenya Wildlife Service wardens comb bushes as

Kenya Wildlife Service wardens comb bushes as they try to follow the footmarks of three lions which had jumped over the park fence to the main road at the Nairobi National Park near KCCT Mbagathi in Nairobi, June 18th, 2009. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI 

By PAUL JUMA

Commuters along Nairobi’s Mbagathi Road Thursday morning got an early morning scare when three lions escaped from the Nairobi National Park and prowled on the roadside.

The big cats were reportedly spotted by motorists at around 6am, almost opposite the gate to the Multimedia University College, before Kenya Wildlife Service officers arrived minutes later to drive them back into the park.

However, Park Warden Elizabeth Leitoro who supervised the exercise told the Nation that the lions had returned into the park by the time KWS officers got to the scene.

She said that the the last of the cats jumped over the park’s outer barbed-wire, sneaking back into the park beneath live electric inner fence.
Last April, a leopard was spotted in Nairobi’s Eastlands, causing panic among residents. It had killed and seven sheep and several dogs in the area, forcing terror-stricken residents to head for home earlier than usual.

Unlike then when the wild animal eluded KWS officers for more than a week, the Nairobi National Park’s lions went back into the bushes in less than two hours.