Nine killed in animal attacks

Human encroachment on formerly wild areas is leading to more frequent cases of conflict with wildlife.

17 February 2017 | Environment

It is not even two months into the year and already six people have been killed by wild animals. The number is staggeringly high as in 2016 a total of nine were killed in conflict with animals in Namibia.

Four of those killed this year were in hippo attacks while the other two people were killed by crocodiles.

Last year, four people were injured in human-wildlife conflict incidents including two staff members of the environment ministry.

As for livestock, 545 cattle, 79 sheep, 291 goats and 15 donkeys were taken by wild animals in 2016 while this year 46 cattle and nine goats have been killed so far.

With regard to crops, there were 71 incidents of damage reported in 2016 and 94 hectares were destroyed by wild animals. This year 21 incidents were reported and 57 hectares have been destroyed.

These figures were released by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta at the announcement of a conference on human-wildlife conflict management.

The conference will be held on 1 and 2 March at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, while World Wildlife Day will be celebrated on 3 March.

Shifeta said people were risking their lives crossing and swimming in rivers because they believe that crocodiles will not attack them unless they are bewitched.

He said this ignorance was why so many people were being killed by hippos and crocodiles.

The minister said there are designated areas where people can cross rivers.

“But because they do not want to get a permit they cross the river at night even with babies that become victims.”

Shifeta said human-wildlife conflict in Namibia had become more frequent and severe in recent decades as a result of population growth, unplanned agricultural activities and the expansion of agricultural and industrial activities, which have led to increased human encroachment on previously wild and uninhabited areas.

According to Shifeta the ministry recognises that living with wildlife often carries a cost, with increased wildlife populations and expanded ranges into communal and freehold farming areas resulting in more frequent conflicts between people and wild animals, particularly elephants and predators.

He said that resulted in livestock and crop losses, damage to water installations and in some instances loss of human lives. The impact of livestock losses and crop damage on rural farmers is compounded by the effects of unemployment, lack of cash and the impact of HIV/Aids.

According to him these conflicts have always existed where people and wildlife live together and will continue to do so in the future. “This means that it will not be possible to eradicate all conflicts but that conflict has to be managed in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

He said it was also evident that the widespread drought in Namibia was aggravating the situation.

Shifeta added that many wild animals are destroyed in retaliation of human-wildlife conflict even when the identification of the real culprit is not possible especially with predators. “This may eliminate the species and affect the ecosystem and home ranges.”

The conference will discuss measures and strategies to be put in place in order to address the issue of wildlife conflict and finalise the revised national policy on human-wildlife conflict management.


Similar News


Anthrax fears rise

4 hours ago | Environment

Botswana authorities are on high alert following the discovery of hippo carcasses in the Okavango River that succumbed to an anthrax outbreak in Namibia. These...

Anthrax action plan in motion

2 days ago - 16 October 2017 | Environment

A major clean-up operation is under way in the floodplains of Bwabwata West following the death of 110 hippos and 20 buffalo there of anthrax....

Actions ongoing to reduce Waterberg buffalo

5 days ago - 13 October 2017 | Environment

The process is ongoing to proclaim a farm neighbouring the Waterberg National Park as part of the park which will assist in reducing the numbers...

No more digging in mahangu fields

1 week ago - 11 October 2017 | Environment

Construction companies working on the northern railway project have been ordered to fill in the pits left in mahangu fields where they excavated building sand...

State of conservancies worrisome

1 week ago - 11 October 2017 | Environment

The permanent secretary in the ministry of environment and tourism, Dr Malan Lindeque says he is concerned about the state of conservancies and the fact...

Omatjete elephants will stay

1 week ago - 11 October 2017 | Environment

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has said the situation in Omatjete in the Erongo Region where elephants have caused severe destruction, needs immediate attention...

Anthrax results ­expected tomorrow

1 week ago - 10 October 2017 | Environment

More than 100 hippos and 20 buffalo have been found dead in the Bwabwata National Park, suspected to have died from anthrax.According to the parks...

MET comes up N$900m short

1 week ago - 09 October 2017 | Environment

A total of N$900 million is needed to develop and implement solutions and mitigation measures in each region to reduce human-wildlife conflict.The ministry of environment...

60 hippos found dead in Zambezi

1 week ago - 06 October 2017 | Environment

More than 60 hippos have been discovered dead in Bwabwata National Park in the Zamezi Region. The first 10 were already dicovered on 30 September,...

Govt weighs in on elephant-troubled Omatjete

1 week ago - 06 October 2017 | Environment

Government is deliberating on permanent interventions to stop the loss of human lives and property caused by elephants in the Omatjete area of the Erongo...

Latest News

Norwegian quota advertised

4 hours ago | Agriculture

The Meat Board of Namibia has started with the process to allocate the Norwegian quota for 2018 to appropriate export abattoirs.Namibia is in possession of...

Anthrax fears rise

4 hours ago | Environment

Botswana authorities are on high alert following the discovery of hippo carcasses in the Okavango River that succumbed to an anthrax outbreak in Namibia. These...

25% of babies born without...

4 hours ago | Health

South Africa is the only country in the sub-region with a sexual, reproductive, maternal, new-born and adolescent health (SRMNAH) workforce that is large enough and...

Shot of the day

4 hours ago | Picture of the day

BERRIES GALORE: A picture taken with a drone shows Belarusians harvesting cranberries at a farm in the village of Selishche, some 290 km south of...

Swapo must reform

4 hours ago | Opinion

The silly season is now in full swing following last weekend's central committee meeting of the ruling party, which wrapped up nominations for the top...

Hell descends on Portugal

4 hours ago | International

A wave of wildfires in central and north Portugal which started at the weekend has killed at least 31 people, civil defence authorities say.Dozens of...

Record weaner season closes

4 hours ago | Agriculture

A total of 15 940 cattle were sold at this year's weaner auctions compared to 5 977 cattle sold in 2016. The average weaner calf...

Ox producers compete

4 hours ago | Agriculture

The winners of this year's Slaughter Ox Competition that is hosted by Agra Auctions was recently announced at an event held in Windhoek. The competition...

Cup kick-off date unconfirmed

4 hours ago | Sports

The organisers of the Petrus Kavhura Cup have announced that they will only set the kick-off date of the tournament at the end of this...

Load More