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Lions Ravage African Ostrich Farm

May 7, 2002

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Three hungry lions jumped a 7-foot fence around East Africa’s largest ostrich ranch, killing 39 birds and eating four, the farm manager said Tuesday.

The lions entered the Maasai Ostrich Farm near Kajiado, 30 miles south of Nairobi, at midnight Monday, Daniel Kaluku said.

``We’ve got a lot of wildlife running round here; maybe they were following some wildlife like zebra when they came close to farm and saw the ostriches ... it’s their favorite meat ... they will do anything to get at it,″ Kaluku said.

One lion later attacked a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger who was tracking the animals after they left the ostrich paddock. The ranger suffered injuries to his leg and face before his co-workers shot and killed the lion, Kaluku said.

The other lions escaped.

Before the attack, the ranch had 1,400 ostriches. The meat, considered a delicacy, is sold to restaurants.

Under Kenyan law, ranchers and farmers are not compensated for livestock killed by wild animals. Ranch owner Jim Gardiner said each bird was worth about $300.

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