Kenya’s Wild Service (KWS) over the weekend explained why a captive lion had to undergo vasectomy earlier in the week, local media reported.
KWS had initially said the procedure was meant to control the lion’s breeding, but Kenyans questioned why it could not instead be released into the wild amid a decline in the endangered species.
But the KWS has explained that the big cat would be vulnerable in the wild, and noted that breeding was not permissible in captive facilities.
“When wild animals are hand-reared, they lose their natural instincts and if released back to the wild, they are vulnerable. The cat family end up being problem animals as they look for easier prey,” it said in a statement.
KWS said human-wildlife conflict leading to injury and retaliatory killings was among the main threat to lion conservation in the country.
Currently, Kenya’s lion population is estimated at 2,589, according to the KWS.