Liwonde National Park in Malawi sees the first wild lions to be introduced, four after the last lion was seen in the park. These are the first of several lions that are to be reintroduced to Liwonde over the next few months.
The two adult male lions were released into secure enclosures this March after being transported from the Majete Wildlife Reserve about 200 kilometers away. They are soon to be followed by two lionesses from South Africa. These lions will remain in the enclosures and under close monitoring for several weeks to ensure their wellbeing, bonding, and adjustment. After this period, they will be released into the wider park.
Majete Wildlife Reserve has managed an extraordinary feat with its own reintroduction of lions in 2012. After its pride of lions was entirely lost to poaching decades ago, lions were reintroduced here in 2012. Since then, the population of lions has grown large enough, that they are able to help repopulate African Parks’ Liwonde.
Lions to Help Tourism
This will help enrich Liwonde National Park, both ecologically and financially. It will restore a key species of predator that will contribute to the healthy functioning of the natural system. At the same time, it will help boost tourism significantly.
African Parks plans to further supplement the populations of both Liwonde and Majete with up to 12 more lions from South Africa over the coming months. This is being done to widen the genetic pool.
The translocation is being carried out in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. It also has the support of both the Dutch Government and the Lion Recovery Fund and is considered to be a milestone in lion conservation in Malawi. This revitalization will not only help rehabilitate wildlife populations but will also encourage tourism and thus benefit the local communities.