• September 20th, 2018
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Lions terrorising communities in Kunene

National
National

Staff Reporter Windhoek-Three lions killed a donkey at Farm Waterbron in the Kamanjab area early Tuesday morning, in a latest incident involving the big cats in rising cases of human/wildlife conflict in the region. According to Chief Max Haraseb of the //Gaioao Daman Traditional Authority the lions, two lionesses and a male lion attacked the donkey standing outside a kraal at Waterbron. “The donkey was standing outside the kraal and the lions attacked the donkey at the farm. They are still in the area and this is not the first time this is happening,” Haraseb told New Era. Farmers in Kunene region have lost more than 50 livestock this month alone. The Gaioao Daman chief also called for relocation of the lions to Etosha National Park and that the game-proof fences at the park be fixed so that predators do not cross into Kunene. “I requested a long time ago so that these lions could be relocated to Etosha,’’ said the chief. Haraseb said that people and wildlife could not live together, and if not controlled communities might rise up and start killing problematic wildlife. “Humans will never be able to live together with wildlife. People might even start killing them,” Haraseb warned. Communities from the area have called-in to Damara/Nama Radio to warn others about the lions. The donkey that was killed by the lions belonged to Rudolf Tjiondo and its carcass was found by another resident of the farm who was searching for missing donkeys. Petronella Tjiondo a resident of the area said it was ‘very fortunate’ that the lions did not attack goats this time around as has been the case on several occasions. The lions were seen devouring the donkey but they scampered when approached. “The lions are nearby. So, we did not even take out the livestock from the kraal. The men are looking for the tracks of the lions so that we can move the livestock to another area where they can be safe,” Tjiondo said. Residents around Kamanjab and Khorixas areas are said to be living in fear in the wake of the recent frequent attacks on livestock such as goats and cattle by lions. Petrus Ukongo of Aodaman Traditional Authority told New Era lions have been moving around the farms of Mesopotamia, Toekoms, Bushmanpan, Soetpoets and Twyfelfontein. “They are attacking livestock on a daily basis and the Aodaman traditional authority held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss what action must be taken,” Ukongo said. Aodaman Traditional Authority is currently busy with a questionnaire in which farmers are asked about mining and its benefits, drought, farming and predators in the areas, which are a problem to them. The Aodaman chief said he supports calls for the relocation of the lions but they too are tourism attractions, which creates jobs and income, but that the risk to livestock and humans far outweighs the benefits that could be derived from lions as a tourist attraction. On top of the menace posed by lions, baboons are also a nuisance at farms in the area, as they feast on watermelons and maize. Ukongo warned communities might start gunning down wildlife to prevent further livestock and crop losses. “We are losing more from the destruction which they cause when they attack livestock. Besides the pay out from government is low so it is better to relocate them,” Ukongo said. Samuel Gawiseb a farmer in the //Huab area who lost more than 240 livestock last November said, “I am still waiting for the government as I have not been paid any compensation.” New Era has been reliably informed that a high-ranking delegation from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism will visit Khorixas to discuss the upsurge in human/wildlife conflict.
2018-01-26 09:46:46 7 months ago
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