Marauding lion to be hunted down

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Aron Mushaukwa
Katima Mulilo

A male lion which forms part of a pride of six to ten lions that have wreaked havoc at Balyerwa Conservancy in Zambezi Region will be trophy-hunted to generate funds for the conservancy. Lions have killed several cattle in the areas of Nongozi, Mbambazi, Sauzuo and Lyanshulu in Judea Lyabboloma Constituency. This year alone about 24 cattle have been killed by lions in Balyerwa Conservancy.

The director in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Colgar Sikopo, confirmed he received a letter from the conservancy asking permission to hunt down the problematic lions.

Sikopo however said that after officials from the ministry did their investigations they discovered there are about six to ten lions that normally come from the nearby Nkasa Rupara National Park to cause havoc at the conservancy.

He said that one male lion in particular has been identified to be the most problematic, and the ministry has issued a permit that the lion be hunted down by the professional hunter from Balyerwa Conservancy.

“We have already killed two lions and have been monitoring the situation to see if the problem was resolved over the past months, but we realised that the problem is still there, and we also understand there is one male lion mainly causing the problem,” he said.

“This time we want that lion to be destroyed by the professional hunter of Balyerwa Conservancy, so that the conservancy generates income out of this animal. About hundred to hundred and fifty thousand Namibia dollars will be generated when this animal is killed by the professional hunter,’’ he said.

Sikopo said the ministry will direct the conservancy to use the funds generated to help farmers to strengthen their kraals so that lions cannot get in and kill livestock. He however called on community members to play their part and take care of their livestock.

“We are also concerned about the manner we manage our livestock, as in most incidences these cattle are not well looked after, because if they are well looked after during the day while they are in the field, and there are people looking after them these lions will not come close. We have also seen that sometimes these cattle are killed in the kraal – that is why we are advising community members to strengthen their kraals,” added Sikopo.

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