Long Live the King | Ink & Digital | 2016
This illustration was exhibited in the Wildlife Trading & Conservation show co-sponsored by Creature Conserve, RISD and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
In collaborating with conservationists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, I conducted research about African Lions. These lions are losing their habitat to agricultural development, dying because farmers are shooting or poisoning them out of fear that they will eat their livestock, hunted as trophy prizes and harvested for medicines.
I wanted to highlight the remarkable narrative about Maasai warriors in Kenya who are responding to these threats to the African Lion. Historically, the hunting of lions would signify a Maasai boy’s transition to manhood. However, because of the declining numbers, the Maasai are changing these hunting traditions. Now the Maasai are designating their young men as Lion Guardians to protect these vulnerable animals.