NAIROBI, Kenya, June 28 – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Saturday adopted a six-month-old lion cub which he named Tumaini at the Nairobi National Park.
Ban said he named her Tumaini, which means Hope in Kiswahili, in the hope that man could learn to live in harmony with nature.
“I adopted this lion cub in the hope that all human beings and wildlife can live in peace and harmony as human beings should know how to live harmoniously with our mother nature,” he said following Tumaini’s adoption at the Nairobi National Park – the only park in the world located in an urban centre.
He presented a cheque of worth Sh703,170 to the Kenya Wildlife Service for its upkeep over the next three years.
“It is my sincere hope that this lion will grow healthy and strong and even fierce and be able to have her own cubs in the near future to make this wildlife rich and healthy,” he said.
Officials said Tumaini was rescued by KWS rangers in December in the Nairobi National Park.
“The rangers waited for three days when they found her but her parents never turned up,” , Idza Dzilla, the officer in charge of adoptions at the park told Capital FM News.
Moon told reporters Tumaini was the third animal to be entrusted into his care since his taking up the post of UN Secretary General in January 2007.
“I was given by President Salva Kiir a bull which was named jokingly at that time Ban Ki Moo. Then when I visited Mongolia I was given a very precious rare species of a horse and I named it peace. Now I have three animals, a bull, horse and finally a lion,” he said to laughter.
Ban joins sprinter Hussein Bolt and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the list of high profile personalities who have adopted cubs under the care of the KWS.
Bolt adopted the cheetah Lightning Bolt when she was three months old in 2009 as did Odinga who adopted an eight month old lioness named Agwambo which means power or King in his native Dholuo.