The efforts last year by African Parks, joint venture partner with the Rwanda Development Board in managing the Akagera National Park, to bring the Lion King back to Rwanda’s only savannah national park, are paying off handsomely.
When initially thwarted by some misguided Kenyan conservationists, which managed to scuttle a ready to go deal to send a breeding stock of lions to Rwanda, did African Parks do the right thing and pursued their vision regardless.
Two South African private game reserves came on board and a total of nine lions, two males and five females, were flown to Kigali before being introduced to Akagera. Prior to that relocation were the perimeter fences around the park strengthened and made predator proof to ensure the lions could not escape.
Only weeks ago did news then emerge that one of the females had given birth to three cubs while it was mentioned that at least two more of the lionesses were also in the family way.
Now has a source from Akagera confirmed that another four newborn cubs were spotted, which effectively has doubled the lion population in the space of just under a year from the initial 7 to now 14.
All eyes are now watching for yet another birth from the third pregnant female, leaving the other two to still show signs they too will be having babies in the not too distant future.
In a related development was is also confirmed that efforts are now in high gear to relocate rhinos back to Akagera, filling another gap of a previously extinct species. When that relocation goes underway, some say perhaps even before the end of the year, will Akagera’s attraction as a safari destination in Rwanda grow even further, as all the big five can then be seen again in this park.