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Kenya Wildlife Service explains lions' vasectomy after uproar

Sun, 29 Jan 2023 Source: Ilyaas Al-Hasan

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Saturday, January 28, sought to clarify their decision to carry out a vasectomy on a 3-year-old lion.

Veterinarian doctors at KWS animal clinic on Thursday, January 26, sterilised the animal and cut off its duct.

In response to critics, KWS explained the exercise was meant to save the living standards of the sanctuary where the lion was operated in Nairobi.

According to KWS, the surgery was meant to control breeding at the captive facility where a number of animals are currently housed.

“When wild animals are hand-reared, they lose their natural instincts, and if released back to the wild, they are vulnerable. The cat family ends up being problem-animals as they look for easier prey,” the KWS explained.

KWS also dispelled complaints from the public that it was wrong to sterlise the animal for a long period of time, during the surgical operation.

The wildlife agency noted that it is illegal for animals to breed in caged settings, like the condition in which the lion was housed.

“As such, the wild animals kept in captive facilities are given the best conditions and utilised as exhibits to enhance local tourism, conservation education and awareness for schools and the general public," KWS explained.

At the same time, the Kenya Wildlife Service explained that animals in the sanctuary are accorded the best possible medical care.

“Breeding is not permissible in captive facilities and appropriate management interventions such as vasectomy are undertaken using the recommended best practice to ensure animal welfare is enhanced,” KWS noted.

KWS further explained that they are implementing the National Recovery and Action Plan for Lion and Spotted Hyena in Kenya (2020-2030) “with a goal to restore and maintain viable populations of lions, and their wild prey while minimising conflict and maximising value to local communities”.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) explained that the animal that underwent vasectomy at the KWS facility had begun showing signs of the desire to mate.

Source: Ilyaas Al-Hasan