Her absolute power and fierce wildness stayed with me. That day, she cultivated a feeling of so much love and awe in my heart, that I can instantly tap into that whenever I need to. It was onto that emotion I clung, after hearing the devastating news of the killing of a Namibian desert lion.
Only a handful of lucky people in the world can boast that they have seen any of the Namibian desert lions. If you are one of the Big Five and a Namibian desert dweller too, you probably need to seriously re-think your survival strategy. The past couple of months have not been kind to Namibian rhino (poaching), elephants (trophy hunting) or lions (human wildlife conflict). The legendary male lion called Rosh was killed a few weeks back, and his death rocked nature lovers to the core. When the news of the senseless murder of a male lion called Terrace Male broke a few days ago, the heartache and loss was palpable, in every conversation, and with every picture posted.
Terrace Male, like Rosh, was collared and his movements closely monitored. They were both part of the research done by Dr. Phillip Stander of the Desert Lion Conservation Project, started in 1998. Since 1999, a total of 40 lions were collared, and 86 were identifiable individuals. The estimated total population of desert lions number between 96 and 154. The main causes of mortality among desert lions are human wildlife conflict and trophy hunting. Terrace Male was born in November 2007, and was known as the Skeleton Coast Wanderer, a tribute to the vast distances he covered in his travels. He even crossed into Angola by swimming across the Kunene river in August 2012, and staying there for a two week "vacation."