Lions devour livestock in Chiredzi

CHIREDZI - Chiredzi North farmers are threatening to spear to death lions they say are killing their livestock.

The lions have reportedly killed dozens of cows and goats at a small farmstead in Chiredzi North. The predators, said to be from Gonarezhou Game Park, are said to be going in search of food outside the national park.

The lion population, a great a draw for tourists, is now under threat from angry villagers. 

Chiredzi North councillor Aspect Mashingaidze told the Daily News one of the farmers lost six cows in the past two weeks and has reported the case to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks).

“What is happening in our area is a cause for concern and needs to be addressed before severe damages are encountered. We are not really sure where the lions are coming from but it’s possible that they could be coming from the Gonarezhou corridor that is not even fenced.

“We cannot really blame the ZimParks officials we have in our area because last time when I went to seek help, they highlighted they have logistical challenges,” Mashingaidze said. Adding that he will continue engaging ZimParks officials to ensure the lions stop terrorizing his area.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said they have not received any reports from Chiredzi North.

“We have not yet received such a report from Chiredzi North but usually the problem with farmers is that they don’t secure their animals in kraals during winter. This then becomes a challenge because lions usually walk around at night looking for prey.

“As ZimParks, we would like to urge farmers to protect their livestock by building standard kraals that will ensure the safety of their animals,” Farawo said.

One of the farmers Jessica Chimusoro said they have tried engaging officers from ZimParks but they haven’t received an effective response.

“I once went to look for ZimParks people who operate in our area and they came with rifles but they did not manage to catch any lions,” Chimusoro said. 

The 36-year-old farmer said she has been investing in breeding cattle for the past 10 years only for them to be eaten by the big cats.

She demanded a practical solution that will ensure the safety of livestock as soon as possible.

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Comments (1)

U deserve compensation.

The Wildlife Trust. - 18 December 2018

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