characters / culture / writing

The Pride of the Maasai Warrior

For those of you who read my post on The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior, the engaging story of Tepilit Ole Saitoti’s, here’s a bit more detail on this wonderful African tribe:

Photo credit: kiwi vic

Pride vs. tribe

(from The

A male lion saunters toward one of a safari of Land Rovers bumping its way along the floor of Ngorongoro Crater, a Tanzania National Park within the country’s greater Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). Inches from an open Land Rover window, the lion stops and glances at the vehicle’s occupants. Without another look, he nonchalantly sidles up first to one tire, then another, and marks his territory, as lions do, with streams of urine.

In actions-speak-louder-than-words, wildlife-style, the lion has served notice that the Land Rover and its humans are “in.” To a point. The lion has no worries: to protect the crater’s wildlife, humans are not allowed to leave the confines of a Land Rover.

Outside Ngorongoro Crater and other preserves, humans are the most significant threat to Africa’s lions (Panthera leo). In one way or another, development directly abuts all the places lions are protected, according to biologist Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota. “Step outside a park,” he says, “and you stand in someone’s field.”(more)

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