On the 30 th of December 2023, we received the sad message that our Kenyan colleague, Kennedy Kaminju Kariuki died on December 28 in the NW hospital in Nairobi at the age of 35 years from organ and heart failure. Kennedy was a PhD candidate at the CML, Leiden University.
It’s hard to describe the atmosphere of the jungle, the sounds of the birds, the buzzing of the insects. Similarly, it’s hard to grasp what it’s like living with tigers, if you’re just a visitor, and don’t have to live with them every day.
The Leo Foundation supports students and researchers in projects which contribute towards the conservation of large carnivores.
On Friday 2 June, Leo board members Shekhar Kolipaka, Monja van Woensel and Hans de Iongh presented the results of current tiger projects in Nepal and India to the board of Abri voor Dieren in Burgers’ Zoo.
Over the past year, the Leo Foundation has supported an education project to strengthen the protection of the Asiatic lion. This population is the only population of lions in Asia and consists of about 600 animals in the Gir reserve, India.
Education is one of the means to gain support from the local population for the protection and conservation of this lion population. The support is given through Meena Venkatar of partner organization Carnivore Conservation and Research (CCR) in India. The project is carried out in the Gir-Ambardi Complex, East of the Gir reserve. The program included several educative sessions at 20 schools, thereby reaching over 750 students (aged 10-14). As part of the project, posters, leaflets and other education materials were distributed among the schools. Students were actively engaged in inventories of the biodiversity around their schools and learned about ways to prevent conflicts between lions and livestock farmers.
The project will be continued in 2023 with support of the Leo Foundation.
The latest edition of Gnusletter includes an article on the status of antelopes in Waza National Park, to which board members of the Leo Foundation and partners in Cameroon contributed.
Lioness Nina has been seen with young cubs in Nairobi National Park! Dr. Francis Lesilau, with whom Leo Foundation has partnered for over 10 years now, recognized her by her whisker spot pattern on a recent photo which was taken in the park.
Earlier this year, board members Hans de Iongh and Laura Bertola visited two projects in Nepal which are being supported by the Leo Foundation. The first part of the trip brought us to Chitwan National Park, a protected area in the lowlands of the Terai. This area used to be a famous hunting ground for the royal family of Nepal, but in the early 70s it became a National Park. Of course, hunting of tigers is now strictly prohibited.