The children between the ages of nine and eleven of the Maasai tribe had just come home from school on Monday when they went to search for the missing cattle, the Agence France-Presse reported.
“That is when the lions attacked and killed three children, while injuring one,” Arusha police chief Justine Masejo said, according to AFP.
A fourth child reportedly escaped the attack, according to The Citizen, a Tanzanian newspaper.
She continued: “I would like to urge the nomadic communities around the reserved areas to take precautions against fierce animals especially when they task their children to take care of the livestock. That will help to protect the children and their families.”
Wildlife attacks against humans in the area are rare but not unheard of, as Tanzania allows certain communities to live within wildlife preserves.
The lions who attacked the three children had been living on the conservation for three years but will now be relocated, The Citizen reported.
The country was forced to relocate 36 lions in 2020 after a group of the increasingly endangered species attacked humans numerous times, according to AFP.