Six lions killed in Kenyan capital Nairobi

A lion
Image caption Lions generate tourist income for Kenya's safari industry but about 100 of the animals are thought to die in the country each year

Six lions have been killed on the outskirts of Nairobi after they strayed into a residential area of the Kenyan capital and were hunted down by locals.

Locals, apparently angry and anxious after the lions had killed a number of domestic goats, speared them to death.

The animals, who were killed at night, strayed from Nairobi's national park.

About 2,000 lions remain in the country and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) says it is losing the animals at a rate of around 100 each year.

Some are dying due to destruction of habitat and others have been killed by disease.

Conflict caused by an encroaching human population has also contributed to Kenya's decreasing lion population.

In the case of the Nairobi killings, KWS said it had tried unsuccessfully to catch the animals and dissuade locals from taking matters into their own hands.

The service, the country's wildlife custodians, despatched rangers and vets in a bid to capture the two adult lionesses, two juveniles and two cubs.

However, local residents apparently gathered after the lions killed four goats in a small farmstead on the outskirts of the capital.

Livestock keeper Francis Kasha told the Reuters news agency the lions had come in the early hours of Wednesday.

"We gathered as we waited for KWS officials to come and catch the lions.

"We tried to surround the animals as we waited for the officials but some people became too rowdy and it was impossible to stop them from killing the lions."

Mr Kasha, who said the killing of some of his own goats had left him feeling bitter, went on: "I did not kill any lions then, but right now we have been forced to kill the lions and we are feeling very bad because this is national heritage and a source of income for our country."

Reuters described the residents involved as being mainly Maasai pastoralists.

Nairobi's national park, from which the animals strayed, is surrounded on three sides by Kenya's capital city.

In May, rangers were forced to shoot a lioness after it stalked an upmarket Nairobi neighbourhood for months.

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