Many people have bashed the Maasai Community for carrying lion hunt practises during their rites of passage. While wildlife endangerment is not encouraged or supported, it is important to note that the Maasai community is the only group that has the largest number of lions in their environment. They are also the only tribe that has been able to co-exist with the animals harmoniously for a long period.
Tradition over Hobby
The Maasai did not hunt lions for fun. Instead, they saw this is a final step into their graduation into adulthood and the role of Elder. The Maasai saw the Lion as the fiercest animals and defeating it, therefore, was a sign of immense bravery and skill. Attributes that any Maasai Warrior and elder should have.
There are Rules
When it is not the time for tradition, the Maasai are strictly forbidden to hunt any lions unless they pose a threat to their lives or their livestock. Even then, they are encouraged to use hunting only as a last resort. The Maasai also honour lionesses as the source of life and continuation for the lion population. As such, they are forbidden from killing female lions no matter what.
The lion population decline became a problem all over the country thanks to drought, habitat encroachment and human-wildlife conflicts. The Maasai took the initiative of banning solo lion hunts and instead focus on group hunting. This way, the lions are given a chance to grow and thrive in their numbers. Interestingly, while sick and drought stricken lions would easily be the easiest target, Maasai men are told to keep away from them.
The Maasai have taken to the web and schools to teach people from other communities about their practices. They also educate each other on how to co-exist with other wildlife, including the lions in order to ensure prosperity in both populations. Whenever the Maasai notice a practice that is not healthy for the animals living around them they quickly find a way around it to stop the harm being caused.