NAIROBI, Kenya – After a hectic week of discussions on the environment in Nairobi, Kenya, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon adopted a 6-month-old lion cub on Saturday.
The young lioness, which was found abandoned in Nairobi National Park, will be raised by the Nairobi Animal Orphanage on behalf of Mr. Ki-Moon who named it ‘Tumaini’, meaning “hope” in Kenya’s Kiswahili language. He said it was his “hope that all people around the world will be able to live harmoniously with nature.”
“I sincerely hope this lion will grow healthy, strong and even fierce,” Ban Ki-Moon said.
More than 1,200 participants from 193 member states spent the week in Nairobi, in an assembly which was the highest-level U.N. body ever convened on the environment.
The assembly addressed a number of issues chief among them the International environmental crime and terrorism. It was observed that illegal timber and wildlife products — such as elephant ivories and rhino horns — are smuggled through the same routes as illegal weapons. For instance the Somali militant group al-Shabab makes tens of millions of dollars a year from the illegal charcoal trade whilst the Lord’s Resistance Army also control a thriving ivory trade.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta met with Ban Ki-Moon Saturday morning to discuss how to strengthen Kenya’s security forces. The leaders also discussed security issues in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ban’s new lion cub is not the first exotic pet he’s received as head of the U.N. In 2009 Mongolia presented Ban with a rare horse named Enkhtaivan, or “Peace,” and in 2008 South Sudanese President Salva Kiir gave Ban a white bull named Ban Ki Moo.