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The return of Lions into Akagera National Park

The return of Lions into Akagera National Park; In July 2015, seven lions from South Africa were introduced and released in the park, making them the first lions in Rwanda for 15 years. And beyond donated five lionesses from Phinda Private Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal donated two male lions. This effort was described by African Parks as “a ground-breaking conservation effort for both the park and the country” as part of a project aimed at reversing the local extinction of the species in Akagera National Park.

Why the return of lions in Akagera National Park

The original lions disappeared in the years following the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Rwandans who had fled the aggression, before returning and settling in the park, killed the lions to protect their livestock, as lions were turning their livestock into pretty. The risk of poaching greatly reduced the number of wildlife lions to an extinct.

Two additional males were translocated from South Africa to Akagera in 2017 to increase the population’s genetic diversity with the reintroduction of black rhinos and lions, the national park is now home to all of Africa’s “big five”: lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo.

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