Villagers Raise Lion Alarm, KWS Finds It was a Photo on a Shopping Bag

  • False lion alarm in Mutiribu village, in Meru County on Friday, May 5, 2022.
    False lion alarm in Mutiribu village, in Meru County on Friday, May 5, 2022.
    Courtesy A Kenyan Girl Twitter
  • Villagers in Meru County raised the alarm after spotting a 'lion' hiding in the bushes on Thursday morning, May 5, 2022.

    The villagers called Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officers since they were afraid the lion might attack them.

    When KWS officers arrived at the homestead in Mutiribu village, in the Kiangua area, they tried to lure the supposed cat out of its hideout but it was not responsive.

    False lion alarm in Mutiribu village, in Meru County on Friday, May 5, 2022.
    False lion alarm in Mutiribu village, in Meru County on Friday, May 5, 2022.
    Courtesy A Kenyan Girl Twitter

    On closer inspection, the KWS officers found that the supposed dangerous big cat that had scared a whole village was a paper bag that was branded with a lion picture.

    Photos shared on social media by Twitter user @AKenyanGirl showed a KWS officer holding the bag, with its signature lion face branding, hidden under a leafy shrub.

    KWS officers found avocado seedlings in the bag explaining why the bag had a ‘filled up’ look. This is why the residents were mistaking the bag for a lion’s head peeping from under the bush.

    One of the photos shared by the tweep showed a KWS warden assessing the bag.

    "Funniest story!  Apparently, the good people of Mutiribu, in Kiangua, Meru called KWS Kenya called on the spotting of a lion hiding in the hedges, fearful for their lives. Turned out to be a  Carrefour paper bag!" she wrote.

    Kenya has some of the best parks that are home to the big cat, which traces its origins to Africa and India. 

    In March 2020, the mundane morning commute acquired a new chill after residents spotted five lions resting along their route.

    The pride, which comprised three adult cats as well as two cubs was seen between the hours of 5 a.m and 7 a.m. on Monday morning March 2020, by residents making their way to work.

    The pride had been roaming in different villages in Salama Ward, Laikipia West Constituency and the locals had significantly restricted their movements since the lions were spotted. 

    A pride of lions pictured.
    A pride of lions pictured.

    School going children had also been terrified by the presence of the lions as parents feared for their safety.

    It was later established that the lions had strayed from Solio Conservancy and asked the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to contain them.