In 2010, one Samburu warrior, Jeneria Lekilelei, founded Warrior Watch to encourage Samburu men to conserve lions. Since then, the local lion population has risen from 11 animals to 50 today. Warrior Watch is part of Ewaso Lions, a group fighting to ensure a future for Kenya’s lion population. By promoting co-existence between people and wildlife, Ewaso Lions uses scientific research and community-based outreach programs to formulate strategies for long-term lion conservation.
A. When I was a boy, I thought I’d be killing lions when I grew up. My father was a warrior when he was young. In the 1950s, there used to be so many lion prides in this area. I met [National Geographic Explorer] Shivani Bhalla, who showed me the declining lion population, and it inspired me to start Warrior Watch. (See National Geographic’s most stunning pictures of big cats.)
We brought a class of warriors who used to kill …