|Lion Guardians Director, Carnivore Conservationist
Leela is the Director of the Lion Guardians program—a community conservation initiative which provides a platform for Maasai warriors to engage and participate in lion conservation. Lion Guardians employs the greatest lion hunters to use their traditional tracking skills to protect lions. Leela obtained her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is in the final stages of writing her PhD dissertation. Her research attempts to understand the nuances of lion killing by profiling lion killers and identifying hunting patterns. All this information directly informs large carnivore conservation on the ground. She has a Biology degree from Denison University, is fluent in Kiswahili, and has previously worked as researcher in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. Leela has been awarded a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Fellowship, four Panthera Kaplan Fellowships, a Fellowship from Wings WorldQuest, and a Jordan Prize for African Studies. Leela’s work has been highlighted in Vogue, Marie Claire, National Geographic, and many other wildlife related documentaries.