Zimparks kill stray lion, hunt for others still on in Masvingo
George Maponga in Masvingo
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers have shot dead a stray lion which was part of a stray pride that was wreaking havoc in southern Chivi and Masvingo districts where they have been killing livestock.
The killed lion was part of three cats believed to have escaped from Save Valley Conservancy and were being trekked by rangers after being spotted by villagers near Tokwane Ngundu in Nyajena recently.
Villagers in Nyajena and surrounding areas have been losing their livestock, especially cattle to the stray lions sparking fears they could even turn to humans, particularly, school children.
Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo says two of the cats are still at large and believed to be moving towards Bubi Conservancy in Mwenezi.
“Our rangers have shot and killed one of the three lions that are killing livestock and threatening humans in southern Chivi and Masvingo districts. Our rangers are still trekking the other two and indications are that they are moving towards Bubi in Mwenezi,” said Mr Farawo.
He lamented the heavy livestock toll caused by the lions.
“Fortunately, so far the lions have not attacked any person but they have killed lots of livestock as they move. We hope to neutralise them soon.”
Mr Farawo urged communities where the lions are believed to be to take extra measures and improve the security of their livestock and also avoid staying outdoors at night.
The pride first send shivers down the spines of communities in Tokwane Ngundu after they were spotted roaming freely near the Renco Mine turn-off along the Ngundu-Chiredzi highway.
The lions are believed to have escaped from Save Valley where the perimeter fence around the wildlife-rich sanctuary was vandalised by suspected poachers.
Plans to restore the Save Valley perimeter fence to stop wild animals from straying into areas where humans live have repeatedly suffered stillbirths because of disagreements over the fate of some families who settled in parts of the wildlife habitat.