Learning About Lions

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 11:01 PM

I’ve been a bit quiet of late as I’m currently in the UK, working to develop the various media elements of the Mara Predator Project. Whilst this means no fieldwork for a few weeks, hopefully there’ll be a swanky new website packed full of information and cool features. It’ll be a more interactive version of the database at www.livingwithlions.org/mara.

It’s a good chance to tell you all about some of the community work we’ve been doing along with Serian Camp. Education is a integral factor in promoting mutual coexistence between people and predators, and a key goal of ours is to help people understand the importance of lions to their community.

There’s nothing kids like doing more than getting messy, so we went to a local school to do some art activities on the subject of lions. After talking to the children about the local lions, they each drew their favourite. I have to say I was very impressed with their pictures – many of the children haven’t done art before as it’s not part of their syllabus at school. Together we made a great display for each class.

school1 The children each drew their favourite lions. They all really enjoyed looking
through the photographs and books – most of them have never seen a lion.

All of the children helped to make a giant collaged lions head with bits of yellow card and plastic. They all really enjoyed getting messy making handprints for the mane, and soon we had a great display for the school. The lion puppets went down a treat, too!

school (102) Getting messy!

As well as being great fun, there’s a serious side to the workshops. Hopefully we can encourage the local younger generation to have a positive view of lions, and demonstrate their respect for lions through tolerance and conservation. Essentially, jobs in tourism such as guiding are highly valued, which promotes an understanding and passion for wildlife. Working with these children, as well as lodge guides, will help build positive attitudes towards lions and other predators.

Above is the finished result. Pretty good, eh??