It’s 7:30 Thursday morning. The phone is ringing as Dr. Meredith Henley walked into her office at the San Diego Zoo. It is the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife from Nairobi.
“Good morning. Meredith Henley, may I help you?” she said.
“Dr. Henley, good morning. Noah Mwangi, from Nairobi,” he answered. “How are you?” he asked.
“Oh, good morning, or I should say, good afternoon in Kenya. Good to hear from you, Minister. Hope you are well, and how can I help you?” Meredith answers.
“Meredith, you may have read that we have a bit of a lion problem in the southwest region. We have confirmed five deaths from lion attacks in the last three weeks. We believe it is the same pride of three lions that are responsible. The most recent mauling happened just two days ago. Two employees in my department who were doing some field work in the southwest sector were attacked and killed. One was a Field Veterinarian and friend of mine, Dr. William Apopo. He is survived by his wife and four children. What a horrible, horrible death. I can’t even imagine the horror. They are man-eaters,” he said.
“Oh my God, Noah. I know Bill Apopo. I’m stunned. I don’t know what to say. How horrible. I have heard only some general details about the attacks. Is it true they are all in the same area, just west of the Masai Mara Game Preserve?” she asked.
“That is true. We think the three lions have migrated over the border probably pushed north by poachers in northern Tanzania,” he answered.
“The story I read was not real clear. Is it reported to be two male and a female?” Meredith asked.
“No, eye witnesses have confirmed it to be one large male and two female. They are definitely hunting as a team and preying on humans,” he replied. The last attack has made this personal, Meredith. They must be stopped,” he added.
“Well, what can I do to help, Noah?” Meredith asked.