Lions seen roaming Kenyan capital for second time this month

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 7:48 AM

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Two lions were spotted close to a highway in the Kenyan capital on Monday, the second time this month that lions have strayed from a wildlife sanctuary Nairobi's outskirts and entered the city of some 3 million people.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said it had sent a team to find the animals which are potentially dangerous and could cause havoc to the busy city's traffic.

Animals occasionally escape from Nairobi National Park, a sprawling reserve that has come under increasing pressure from rapid urban growth. The park is mostly fenced off around the city, but there are gaps to allow the animals to migrate.

Previous incidents have brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill. In mid-February, several lions were spotted in a residential area and were captured in the middle of the night.

"A KWS search team is currently on the ground and we’ll keep you updated on our findings" the wildlife service said of Monday's sighting along Nairobi's Southern Bypass road.

Traffic police spotted the lions close to a forest near the neighborhood of Karen - a section of Nairobi named for Karen Blixen, the Danish author of the colonial-era memoir "Out of Africa".

Last year park officials agreed to allow a new Chinese-built railway line to cut through the park. The line will be walled-off and raised above the ground so animals can pass underneath.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)