Authentic Massai lion spear. The blade and shaft of the spear are both well preserved with no holes and little rust // Lion hunting is a historical practice that played an important role in the Maasai culture. The practice is different from trophy hunting; it is symbolically a rite of passage rather than a sport. The Maasai tribe sees the lion hunting experience as a sign of bravery and personal achievement. In the past, when the lion population was high, the community encouraged solo lion hunting. However, over the last ten years, due to the decline of the lion population, mainly because of rabies and canine distemper virus, the community has adapted a new rule that encourages warriors to hunt in groups instead of solo lion hunt. Group hunting, known in Maasai as olamayio, gives the lion population a chance to grow. The Maasai understand that lions are important to the savanna's ecology and culture. For that reason, the Maasai takes extra caution when it comes to lion hunt. The Maasai warriors do not just go out and hunt lions because they can. Their own conservation rules are there and are followed by every warrior of the tribe.