lion nairobi
lion nairobiReuters

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) launched Friday a manhunt to trace reportedly six lions that escaped from Nairobi National Park on Thursday around midnight. Of these, four are said to have returned to the park.

"Lioness and cub safely back into the park. Two others suspected to have sneaked back before dawn, (sic)" KWS Corporate Communications Officer Paul Udoto said in a tweet on Friday afternoon.

The Kenya wildlife has issued a warning to residents in the surrounding areas to remain vigil as the lions are on the loose. "Lions are dangerous wild animals. Don't confront them when you encounter them. Report on toll free numbers, (sic)" Udoto tweeted.

Meanwhile, teams of armed rangers and KWS personnel are trying to trace all the lions and bring them to back to the national park. They have searched for the wild animals near the Kibera district. 

"Our team has been has been on ground since 3 am to ensure that the issue is contained and the Lions are safely back... NOT HUNTING as if to kill them. Lions are to be traced and returned to the park. Perils of 'born town' lions!" Kenya wildlife tweeted.

Two lioness were earlier sighted in Nairobi's Langata district, Udoto said. "These are highly populated areas and that is why we are intensifying the search," Mr Udoto said. "Anyone with information about them should share it with us immediately," Agence France-Presse quoted Udoto as saying.

"Our teams comprising veterinary officials have been in Langata looking for the animals," he said.

Udoto also advised parents to keep their children inside the house until all the lions are brought back to the national park. The KWS has set up toll free numbers for the residents to alert if they see the lions.