Meet Team Lioness

Meet Team Lioness

Kylie McAllister, Staff Writer

Team Lioness is a all female ranger group in Kenya who protect animals against illegal poaching.

During the pandemic, the group of eight women have had next to no contact with their families. In order to maintain their watch and ensure poachers do not take advantage of the global COVID crisis, Team Lioness has chosen to remain at camp these last several months, only leaving to go on patrol. Their efforts have paid off; since the start of the pandemic there has been no increase in poaching.

While Kenyan authorities feared the pandemic might impact the wildlife negatively there has been virtually no change. Even after the decline in tourism due to the pandemic and stretch of funds to pay rangers the team continued to push against the illegal killings.

One of the team members, Loice Soila, said her job is even more important now because the loss of jobs to the community has made poaching a alternative to many, but there has been no increase. Soila also said that she is happy they declared her job essential, as she has wanted to work with animals since she was a kid.

Lack of communication has made the Lioness’ job harder. Phone communication is rare because they often don’t have cell phone service. This aspect of the job has been very stressful, especially for the mothers of the group. Despite the isolation of the last several months, they persevered through the struggles and have shown that a women can do anything a man can do. Soila said that the job has “earned me respect in the society.”

The work of Team Lioness is expected to continue to make sure that the Kenyan wildlife is safe!