OMUTHIYA - A pride of lions that escaped from Etosha National Park between Friday and Saturday have killed a donkey and cow in the vicinity of Oshivelo and Casablanca.
The pride of six were spotted about 5 km towards Oshivelo, and have since returned to the park as of yesterday morning, according to an official from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, who opted not to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“I can indeed confirm that the lions have returned to the park in the early morning. They first killed a donkey, which they totally finished, while the cow was not eaten, as people disturbed them. This happened in the morning of Sunday,” stated the official.
A video of lions feasting on a donkey has been circulating on social media.
The environment ministry’s policy on wildlife and human conflict makes provision to compensate farmers for loss of livestock, which is N$3 000 for cattle, N$500 for goats, sheep (N$700), horses (N$800), donkeys (N$500) and pigs (N$700).
As for damage to crops, a quarter of a hectare will be compensated at N$250, while one hectare will be N$1 000.
The scheme still makes provision of payments, such as amounts which include funeral expenses and related costs of up to N$100 000; injury with no loss of body part: N$10 000; injuries with loss of body part: N$30 000, and disability: N$50 000.
“It is very unfortunate that this incident happened and we urge our farmers living along and closer to the park to always keep their animals in the kraal. We do not want a situation where lions get used to eating domestic animal meat because they are easy preys and as such, it will be problematic, as they will continue escaping. Therefore, farmers and the community should assist in this regard,” stated environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.
Furthermore, Muyunda said after investigations are done, they will look into the issue and see if affected farmers do qualify for compensation, based on the policy scheme to be assisted.