Poison Takes Toll On Africa's Lions UPDATES
Jun 03, 2009 (Voice of America News/ContentWorks via COMTEX) In Kenya, parliament is being asked to ban a pesticide that's been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of animals, including many lions. Kenyan MP John Matutho is introducing legislation to prohibit the use of Furadan " a cheap but lethal chemical originally manufactured by the US based FMC Corporation.
In Nairobi, WildlifeDirect executive director Dr. Paula Kahumbu says, "This is a pesticide that has recently been banned in the United States. It's also banned in Europe because it's been found to be unsafe to be used even if we follow the label instructions.… It's one of the most dangerous pesticides actually available at the moment."
It's readily obtainable over the counter in Africa. "It's very, very cheap. In fact, it's probably the cheapest pesticide available," she says.
The conservation group fears that means unless a ban is imposed, the pesticide will easily find its way back to Kenya.
The chemical attacks the nervous system and only small amounts can kill an animal. It can also be fatal to humans if ingested.
"It takes only a quarter of a teaspoon to kill people, "says Kahumbu. She says lower concentrations can cause neurological problems, such as paralysis and breathing problems.
Furadan, a chemical used as a pesticide to protect crops is being used by African herders to poison lions that threaten their livestock and livelihood.
(CBS) We all grew up learning that the lion is the king of the jungle. And now that we're not little any more, we know just how vulnerable they are. In fact, when exposed to man's devices, lions are extremely fragile.
The latest weapon being used against them is poison. African herders whose livestock and livelihood are threatened by lions are killing them in the most effective and economical way they can.
And overwhelmingly, that is by using a cheap American chemical called Furadan. It is marketed as a pesticide, to be used for protecting crops. But it's bought by many to kill animals. And that’s one reason why, conservationists say, Africa's lions are in trouble.
Dr.Laurence Frank, of the University of California Berkeley told correspondent Bob Simon that he believes that poison, combined with other threats, will make the lion in Africa extinct.
60 Minutes and correspondent Bob Simon took a journey through the bush in Kenya to find out what's going on. We learned that 20 years ago, there were some 200,000 lions in Africa. Today, there are 30,000 and the numbers are going down all the time.
Lions are being poisoned at a staggering rate in Kenya, and there's little chance cubs outside the wildlife reserves there will make it to adulthood.
Dr. Laurence Frank, of the University of California Berkeley, told Simon he believes that poison, combined with other threats, will make the lion in Africa extinct.