• First lions to return to Rwanda after over two decades


    KIGALI: Lions will return to Rwanda for the first time in more than two decades, wildlife officials have said, after the endangered animal was wiped out following the country’s 1994 genocide. Seven lions — two males and five females — are being transported from South Africa and will arrive by air in Rwanda on Monday after a 36 hour journey, where they will be taken and released after at least two weeks quarantine into the eastern Akagera National Park. Park officials in Akagera, a 112,000 hectare park bordering Tanzania, said the reintroduction was “a ground-breaking conservation effort for both the park and the country of Rwanda.” Lions in Rwanda were stamped out after the 1994 genocide, which left an estimated 800,000 people dead. Fleeing refugees and displaced people occupied part of the park, with the lion being driven out or killed as people tried to protect their livestock. “It a breakthrough in the rehabilitation of the park,” said Yamina Karitanyi, head of tourism at the Rwanda Development Board. “Their return will encourage the natural balance of the ecosystem.”



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