A PRIDE of lions that escaped from the Etosha National Park on Saturday killed a cow and a donkey in the area of Oshivelo.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment and Toursism (MET), Romeo Muyunda confirmed the incident of human wildlife conflict and added that the bad state of the fence that is supposed to keep the wild animals in the ark is a in a state of almost complete disrepair.
“The MET have also established that the conflict was caused by a pride of six lions which has since all returned to the park,” Muyunda said in a statement.
He said human wildlife conflict has become a huge challenge in recent years and more so because of the prevailing drought.
“In this regard we appeal to farmers and communities to assist the MET in managing these conflicts by putting in place mitigating measures such as putting their livestock in kraals at night. This will assist the MET to avoid such unfortunate incidences where people lose their valuable livestock.”
Muyunda said similar incidences were also reported in the Kunene region as recently as last week where lions have attacked and killed livestock.
He said the first incident took place on 21 January on Farm Arizona south of Hobatere where two head of cattle were killed and in retaliation the farmers killed the two lions.
“It was reported to the MET that the lions were killed while they were preying on the carcasses.”
“The second incident took place in the Anabeb Conservancy in the Khowarib area on 22 January. It was reported that 17 goats were killed. The MET established that three lions were involved.”
Muyunda said the third incident took place at Khowarib Post on 23 January. He said eight goats in were also killed by five lions consisting of a male, a female and three cubs.
“It was reported that some of the Kunene incidents happened during the day while the livestock were being herded.”
He said the ministry is working around the clock to find an amicable solution to these incidents of conflict.
“We appeal for calm and patience and urge that the public must not resort to taking the law into their own hands. In all the cases, we are investigating possible assistance to those who suffered losses through our Self Reliance Scheme.”
Accordingly the MET wishes to express its regret over such cases particularly so because the fence of the Etosha National Park is in a bad state that may be a contributing factor.