A PRIDE of desert adapted lions is held responsible for the killing of 25 goats in a fenced in kraal of a communal farmer in the Torra conservancy area at Rooiwal near Fonteine Pass in the Kunene Region.
The farmer, Euphrasius Dawids, said the lions attacked the goats in a kraal that they had specially adapted to keep out predators like lions before he moved into the conservancy with his goats to look for emergency grazing.
“The lions must have found a weak spot in the netting that we put around the kraal to keep the lions out. One of the lions managed to get through the netting because it collapsed and gave the rest of the pride access to the goats inside,” he said.
According to Dawids he bought the rams and ewes about two years ago and the he recently moved the goats to within the boundaries of the Torra conservancy area in order to let them graze because of the drought.
“Early on Saturday morning we heard the noise and went to inspect what was happening. Our noise and the lights we had with us must have scared off the lions because the fled into the darkness.”
He said this is difficult situation for him because of the significant financial losses he suffered. He estimated his losses to be between N$45 000 and N$50 000.
“I am also a conservationist that for the past 20 years worked hard to minimize conflict between wild animals and humans. If we declare the lions as problem animals with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism they will be put in danger of being shot. It is very difficult decision right now.”
He said that in the meantime that they are butchering the goats that were killed and plan to sell the meat to some of people in the area to mitigate the financial losses he suffered.
Dawids said some of prised rams and ewes have been killed along with some of the younger goats. He said some of the goats were partly eaten while others had bite marks on them.
“It seems as if the adult lions in the pride of at least eight allowed some of their cubs to kill some of the goats in the kraal to teach them how to hunt.”
Since the onset of the drought human wild life conflict has been on the increase as farmers move their live stock ever further away from established farming areas to find grazing for their domesticated animals.
Dawids said they counted at least eight adult lions and cubs as they fled into the dark but could not say if any of the predators were collared.