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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: Lions return to Rwanda for first time since 1994 genocide

Monday, 6 July 2015

Lions return to Rwanda for first time since 1994 genocide

 A plane containing seven lions transported from South Africa arrives in Kigali airport
Groggy on their paws after waking from tranquillisers, lions have returned to Rwanda for the first time since the endangered animal was wiped out following the country’s 1994 genocide.
Seven lions (two males and five females) were transported in a 30-hour journey from South Africa – first by air, then the final stretch by road – to Rwanda’s eastern Akagera national park.
Schoolgirls sang outside the park, a 112,000-hectare (276,800-acre) area bordering Tanzania, welcoming the predators as they ended their journey.

One by one, they were released into a giant pen, where they will stay for initial quarantine of about two weeks, before being allowed out into the wild of the park itself.
“It is a huge conservation milestone, it is the beginning of a fantastic chapter for lions in Rwanda,” Akagera park’s director, Jes GrĂ¼ner, said.
Lions in Rwanda were wiped out in the years following the 1994 genocide, which left an estimated 800,000 people dead. Fleeing refugees and displaced people occupied part of the park, with the lions being driven out or killed as people tried to protect their livestock.
“I still have the pictures of the last three lions that were poisoned ... it was very sad,” said Tony Mudakikwa, a vet.
The return of lions symbolises more than a conservation success. “We are excited as a nation,” said Yamina Karitanyi, head of tourism and conservation at the Rwanda Development Board. “We are proud to welcome the lions.”

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