'Sedated' lion terrorises Kariba

HARARE - A lion that was supposed to have been sedated caused chaos in the resort town of Kariba last week, after it unexpectedly woke up and charged at curious onlookers who had gathered to watch wildlife experts treating its wounds.

More than 500 residents of Nyamhunga Township, who had gathered to witness the rare public treatment of the big cat, were left traumatised and terror-stricken when the beast charged at them despite seemingly having been sedated effectively moments earlier.

Relieved local residents who spoke to the Daily News yesterday thanked their creator for the ensuing “miracle” which saw no-one getting injured during the subsequent commotion.

But in a statement, the Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust (KAWFT) criticised residents for having treated the lion’s sedation and treatment like it was entertainment.

“This was very poor behaviour by most of the more than 500 Nyamhunga residents that descended into an unpredictable and potentially-explosive situation with the wounded lion,” it said.

This was after the curious residents had descended around the area where the lion was, within minutes of its sedation, with some of them climbing onto vehicles to get a better view of the spectacle.

“The drug had not yet taken full effect and the sheer look of horror and stress on his face when he heard the loud noises and saw hundreds and hundreds of people descending towards him and us were heartbreaking and nerve-wrecking to say the least.

“This put every single person in enormous danger, along with the possible situation of having to shoot the very animal we were all trying to save.

“The residents paid no attention to Parks who were trying desperately to keep them away from danger and to keep those of us safe that were working on a semi-sedated and highly-dangerous wounded lion,” KAWFT said further in its statement.

It added that authorities would in future seek assistance from ZRP Support Unit and other law enforcement agents for help in controlling crowds.

KAWFT was formed in July 2010, by a group of Kariba residents, for the purpose of treating and helping wildlife, and enabling a swift response to any animal welfare emergency in the area.

Prior to this, and whenever there was an emergency, Kariba residents would raise funds to pay for a veterinary officer to come from Harare to dart and treat wounded animals.

Meanwhile, a school teacher, along with three teenagers, will on April 3 walk for 1 000km to raise funds for wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe.

Kathy Trevenen O’Hara will be joined, in some parts of the walk, by 16-year-old Eric Harrison, 15-year-old Dylan Hartell and 13-year-old Tinashe Maguta.

“It is obvious to anyone paying enough attention that wildlife conservation and anti-poaching is in continuous serious need of support,” O’Hara said in her appeal for support.

“I will be walking through Juliasdale to Mutare, through the beautiful Chimanimani, down to Chipinge, onto Chiredzi, and finally to Gonarezhou National Park, arriving there on April 30,” she said.

Comments (1)

Rubbish! Follow this link, the video shows it all. http://www.facebook.com/AWARETrustZimbabwe/videos/1182326548487400/

Kakuli - 15 February 2017

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