WINDHOEK - The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has explained the unfortunate death of a male lion during the processes of capture from Erongo Region to a farm outside Windhoek, saying it died from capture stress.
Romeo Muyunda, the spokesperson in the environment ministry said the male lion died during the translocation, together with two lionesses and three cubs to a 9500-hectare farm belonging to N/a’an ku se Foundation outside Windhoek.
He said the translocated lions to N/a’an ku se Foundation will remain state property and will be translocated to a national park once the ministry is satisfied with their behaviours.
Muyunda said the translocation was due to the tendency of certain individuals who are allegedly feeding lions near the White Lady Lodge in the Daures Constituency of Erongo Region.
Due to people feeding these predators, the animals have since started coming in close proximity with locals which is a serious threat to human lives and livestock.
Muyunda said a pride of three lions has been reported and observed to be causing problems in the Daures area.
He noted continued livestock losses has been reported by communities particularly near the white lady lodge.
Muyunda said prior to the relocation, the ministry has intervened by capturing and releasing the lions into the Skeleton Coast Park twice but they still came back to the area. “We have noticed a strange behaviours in the lions that has made us to believe that the lions were fed by the people around the vicinity of the lodge. With these behaviours, the lions could come very close to people. This is a practice that we strongly discourage and condemn. The lions were close to the lodge most of the time and as a result has caused more livestock losses to communities,” he observed.
He noted that based on the above, a decision was taken to capture and translocate the lions to areas where they will not cause any problems.
Further, he said human wildlife conflict prevention and mitigation interventions were put in place including collaring of the lions for monitoring purposes.
According to him, it should be noted that the ministry’s decisions are made for the best interest of conservation in the country.
Moreover, he said this translocation is also in line with the Revised National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict Management.