Date Published:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 11:00

Two suspects were yesterday remanded in police custody for two weeks by a Narok court to facilitate investigations into the poisoning of two famous lionesses in the Mara. 


A third suspect has since been determined to be a key prosecution witness. 


A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) veterinary doctor conducted a post mortem examination in the presence of scene of crime officers and sent samples to the Government Chemist in Nairobi for toxicological analysis.  

The dead lionesses, the oldest and most famous in the Marsh pride in the Maasai Mara, are feared to have consumed poisoned meat. 


One of the dead lions has been identified as Bibi, one of the Marsh pride, while the other unidentified one had been mauled by hyenas beyond recognition. However, the remains are presumed to be that of Sienna, another member of the pride that has not been sighted since the incident occurred. 


The two dead lions were among the pride of eleven that had been reported to be part of the pride.

The Marsh lion pride featured in the popular BBC television series "Big Cat Diary" which aired from 1996 to 2008.  

A male cub that was missing was later found in good health. 


At the same time, five carcasses of vultures found in the vicinity on Monday are suspected to be those of vultures that preyed on the lioness carcasses.


The remnants of the carcasses have been incinerated and buried to prevent further access by other animals. Other precautionary measures are being taken to prevent predators from preying on the contaminated carcasses.  


A report of suspected lion poisoning was made on Sunday around Governors Camp area. The report was made by Narok County rangers and Governor’s Camp management. 


One of the lions was reported to be showing clinical signs of poisoning which, included severe in-coordination, muscle tremors, profuse diarrhoea, papillary dilation, among others. Four others were reported to be showing mild signs. The one with severe signs was treated.


Yesterday morning the treated lion was reported to have shown marked signs of improvement and has since joined the rest of the group. All the eight were yesterday afternoon observed to be together with no further signs of poisoning.


Post-incident monitoring of the pride is underway though flooded rivers are hampering access to some areas.   

A male cub that had separated from the pride was later attacked by a buffalo and is currently taking refuge under a car. KWS and Narok County Government officials are making arrangements to take care of it.