Lions will soon return to Liwonde National Park after years of absence as African Parks has started the introduction process.
The first stage in the process was completed on Saturday when two lions were caught at Majete Wildlife Reserve.
The movement of these two pride males paves way for African Parks’ plans of bringing to Majete two new males from South Africa for genetic diversity.
“The first step was to capture the 2 pride males from Majete Wildlife Reserve and bring them to Liwonde. The second and third steps are to bring another 2 males and 5 females from South Africa.
“The 2 males have settled nicely into the boma, resting in the shade of the trees and happily tucking into a waterbuck carcass left for them. These lions will be released within the next few weeks. Perhaps a trip to Liwonde is in order,” the park said.
However, it will be survival of the fittest at Liwonde as the coming in of these lions in the park will put lives of other animals in danger.
Meanwhile, African Parks has assured communities around the park and those who pass through the park to fear nothing since there will be total security.
African Parks said they have scheduled three crossing times a day when people are to be escorted by an armed guard.
Statistics show that over the last century, lion populations have rapidly declined from 200,000 to just over 20,000.
Conservationists say the reintroduction of lions is aimed to strengthen the ecosystem as well as support Malawi’s growing tourism economy.
The exercise comes after the African Parks completed Africa’s largest elephant translocation project in history, which saw 500 elephants being relocated from Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Parks to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
African Parks has been managing Liwonde since 2015 and has improved wildlife numbers, managed surplus species and has recovered populations of essential carnivore prey.