John Muyamba Rundu-Petrus Hamutenya, 39, became the latest victim of human-wildlife conflict after a leopard attacked him on a farm where he has worked since last May. Narrating his story, Hamutenya said he was in the company of his co-workers at a certain Mika Muronga’s farm in the Mangetti farming area in the Kavango West Region, when they went to patrol and inspect livestock at the cattle post. While there they noticed that one calf was missing and they also saw tracks of a leopard. “We saw tracks of a wild animal that turned out to be a leopard and we discovered that it had caught and killed a calf, and it seemed to have been caught during the night. While following the tracks on Sunday morning, we noticed that the wild animal wasn’t far, as our dogs started running back and forth. Suddenly, I was knocked to the ground and it bit me several times on my thigh, both calves and on my arms and on my feet as I tried to kick it to defend myself,” Hamutenya narrated. “My co-farm worker, who had left me behind, ran back to help me and he shot the animal before it could do more harm to me,” he said. “I couldn’t run fast, as I wore heavy boots. My co-farm workers ran and left me behind,” he continued. Medical superintendent at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital, Dr Joseph Mukerenge, told New Era that the patient is in a stable condition and thus the hospital will not refer him to Windhoek, as he is not in a critical state. “He is stable and our nurses and doctors will give him treatment until he gets better and gets discharged in the next few days. He is currently receiving treatment in our surgical ward,” Mukerenge noted. Scores of Namibians lose their lives to wildlife attacks each year, as humans encroach on wildlife habitats and this issue is being compounded by recurrent droughts compelling wild animals such as lions, hyenas and others to hunt for soft targets near human settlements. The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, previously said the so-called human-wildlife conflict is a very difficult challenge and experts also made the observation that wildlife roams between parks and communal conservancies, which inevitably leads to conflict between the beasts and members of the communities living near the parks.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-27 09:12:43 10 months ago