If farmers in Africa put their livestock into an enclosure it would protect the animals from attacks by lions, which in turn would protect the lions from being attacked by farmers. Farmers are on lion home ranges. It is the same for cheetahs. Lions are bound to attack livestock. This causes tension between lion and farmers. Farmers want to kill the lions.
Over large parts of Africa the word for enclosure is “boma”. The campaign is to build bomas to protect both cattle and lion. The result must lead to more harmony. Less livestock killed by lions and less lions killed by farmers. It sounds very simple, which makes me ask, “why did it take so long to come up with the idea?”
Bomas are inexpensive to build ($500) and maintain. There certainly has to be separation. You could argue that all three should be separated: human from lion and livestock from lion. Ideally the lion should have its own inviolable space and be left alone.
I am not sure about the cost because surely it depends on the size of the enclosure. However, I believe that the build a boma initiative refers to building the enclosure for use by cattle at night. In which case it could be relatively small.
The “Build a Boma” scheme is part of a National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative called “Cause an Uproar”.
I think the word “boma’ also applies to the homes of people in some districts. There are some sophisticated schemes to protect the snow leopard in the Himalayan foothills. Using Buddhism is one example.
Photographer of the photo on Flickr
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