Since I was out with my assistant, Catherine, all week, getting her started on the community interviews in the area of Tsavo east, attitudes of the surrounding people began to (cadidly) surface.
People are not shy to admit they are having serious conflict with many wild animals, both INSIDE parts of Tsavo East on which they (openly) graze their livestock and outside the park boundaries. They admit to the killing of all the big cats as the cats'approach their homes or livestock-- or even when they simply see them nearby.
They do not see the point on 'conserving' an animal, which is a threat to them or their livestock or changing their culture to prevent attacks. In Maasai communities, even though they were firm about maintaining cultural traditions and the fact of the young boys guarding the stock during the day, while moran and elders just sat together and talked. They said that they were 'open to change' if this involved paid employment, such as some sort of promoted 'guardian program' of the wildlife. Word spreads quick among tribes!! The Maasai also see 'compensation' as a means of ending the killing. Other tribes were not so open to change and see their people as coming before the wildlife, even with all the tourism and employment the adjacent Parks bring to nearby communities.
Bomas were clearly not tall enough or strong enough to keep the predators out or, in some cases, even the livestock in! Other tribes admitted to simply tethering cows to trees during the night. It's clear in the majority of communities interviewed, so far, that preventive measures are not being adequately put in to place and that much education is needed..