Lions terrorise Hwange villagers

Villagers in Lubhangwe and Jambezi area in Hwange are living in fear as a pride of lions has been wreaking havoc in the areas and have killed their livestock.

According to reports, the villagers have lost an unconfirmed number of goats and cattle.

Speaking to CITE, Chief Shana of Jambezi said he was told about the issue at a recent community meeting.

“I was told about this matter on the 9th of April in a COVID- 19 meeting I held with villagers in Jambezi,” said Chief Shana.

“A lot of goats have been devoured by these stray lions who move as a pride.”

He added that the predators even devour big animals such as donkeys and cattle but goats have been the main target recently.

“If lions find donkeys and lions in pens they also devour them but as of yet we are aware of goats being the main target of the lions,” he told CITE.

The Chief said Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) were notified of the challenge but they claimed not to have fuel.

“We want ZimParks to come and help us because we have told them about this but they are saying they do not have diesel to come and help us but as it is lions are terrorising people’s livestock and the worst part is that they travel in prides with their calves,” he said.

ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo said they have received the reports and they have dispatched their teams to the areas.

“The issue is we receive reports almost every day and in the case of Lubhangwe our people are on the ground as we speak,” said Farawo.

He added that animals are overpopulated in parks and hence they tend to stray.

“ There is overpopulation of animals in parks and hence they tend to travel but they are destroying the livelihoods of communities, crops and some homesteads lose about ten cattle and once that happens some people fail to recover,” he told CITE.

He added that ZimParks is always educating communities on what to do to make sure that their livestock is secured and people should desist from driving their livestock to parks.

“We are always educating communities on what to do and we are saying they need to secure their pens and build standard pens to save their livestock from hyenas and lions,” he said.

“We, therefore, discourage people from driving their livestock into the parks, worse some people stay for months without following up to check how the livestock are and lions tend to follow the animals back to the homesteads.”

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