Lions target livestock

The environment ministry has appealed to farmers and communities to assist it in managing these conflicts by implementing mitigating measures, including putting their livestock in kraals at night.

28 January 2020 | Tourism

The environment ministry has confirmed several livestock kills by roaming lions.

Commenting on a video that has been circulating on social media in which lions are seen toying with a donkey they had cornered, environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the six-strong pride of lions had escaped from the Etosha National Park over the weekend and killed a donkey and a cow in the area between Casablanca and Oshivelo.

He said the ministry had also established that the pride has since returned to the national park.

“Human-wildlife conflict has become a huge challenge in recent years and more so because of the prevailing drought.

“In this regard we appeal to farmers and communities to assist us in managing these conflicts by putting in place mitigating measures such as putting their livestock in kraals at night. This will assist us to avoid such unfortunate incidents where people lose their valuable livestock,” Muyunda said.

“Accordingly, we also wish to express our regret over such cases, particularly so because the park's fence is in a bad state and this may be a contributing factor.”

Muyunda said similar incidents were also reported in the Kunene Region last week where lions have attacked and killed livestock.

“The first incident took place on 21 January on Arizona Farm south of Gobatere, where two cattle were killed, and in retaliation, the farmers killed the two lions. It was also reported that the lions were shot while preying on a cattle carcass.

“The second incident took place in the Anabeb Conservancy in the Khowarib area on 22 January. It was reported that 17 goats were killed. We established that three lions were involved.

“The third incident took place on 23 January, in which eight goats at the Khowarib post were also killed by five lions consisting of a male, a female and three sub-adults,” Muyunda said.

It was also reported that some of the Kunene incidents happened during the day, while the livestock were been herded.

“The ministry is working around-the-clock to find an amicable solution to these conflicts. We appeal for calm and patience and urge that the public must not resort to taking the law into their own hands.

In all the cases, we are investigating the possibility of possible assistance to those who suffered losses through our self-reliance scheme,” Muyunda added.

Staff Reporter

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