After returning from Kenya last April 2013, I forgot to post this poem I wrote about the sometimes irony of Lion Conservation & Conflict. While tourist sometimes feel all cuddly and fuzzy about lions in the abstract, the stark realities need to be understood not to shock them on first sight:
LAMENT OF THE LIONESS –
The Irony of Survival
Ho, Kenyan Kids On Safari,
You are my lion cubs’ future,
Growing up alongside each other.
Sometimes we kill your cattle.
Don’t take it personally –
We were here long before you.
‘Til your warriors speared for manhood,
‘Til the white hunters killed for sport,
Birthing conflicts of co-existence.
Now conservationists beg you
To become wildlife protectors,
Before there are no cubs to see.
Think, Kenyan Kids on Safari –
What makes Kenya such a WONDER
That the whole world desires to see?
Not a stuffed lion to cuddle,
But a lion who can kill my cubs
After he takes over the pride.
I ROAR that it’s not just humans
Who threaten my cubs’ existence,
But a “king’s” own line of descent.
By Todd Cromwell, Founding Director of KKOS
Returning from Kenya, April 2013