"The habitat is a?rain forest, where visibility is non-existent. The forest is lush and thick, and small streams are abundant; water is everywhere. It rains about every day. The terrain is very steep and slippery. There are no roads, only foot paths and mule trails. People have moved into this inhospitable landscape and established permanent residence, so the area is rich in domestic cattle, goats, mules and horses. The primary problem is?encroachment on the lions' remaining?habitat; shooting a few lions will not solve their problem.
"The area the lions wander is vast. If a lion hits a cow 25 kilometers away, you are lucky to hear about it within two days. The critical flaw in our strategy was the failure of the lions to stay with the kill. Livestock is so abundant that they simply feed and move on.
"So, you are up against a stacked deck; tracking and baiting don't work. The probability that you intercept one or more lions while out walking, day or night, is very low. Based on a good effort for 10 days with Sisay Shewamen of Shield and Spear Safaris, it is my belief that the Ethiopian Government's proposition that lions are numerous is a major exaggeration. I did not see a lion, didn't hear a lion and saw one track about two or three days old. I believe there are a few lions in the Bonga region; not numerous by any measure.
"I could only hunt for 10 days due to other commitments. For the hunter........(continued)