Lions terrorise Erongo community

NamStay

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RURAL communities near the Erongo mountains say their livestock are being killed by lions believed to be the same problematic pride that was relocated from the Kunene region to a conservation area in the mountains last year.

Community leaders told The Namibian yesterday that several horses and other livestock had been killed and eaten by the cats, although they could not confirm how many had been killed.

Most of the killings happened between Usakos and Tubuses, west of the mountains, they say.

Headman Ben /Uiseb of Usakos said he will issue a warning on the Damara/Nama radio station that people should be careful and not be tempted to follow the spoor of the lions.

“If nothing is going to be done about this. I'm telling you, somebody is going to get killed by a lion before the end of the year,” he told this newspaper. “Many people live out here.”

He said the herdsmen are too afraid to go into the field to look after their livestock, and people are staying close to home and do not walk around in the evening when most of the attacks occur.

“It was never like this until recently,” /Uiseb said.

Headman Eric So-/Oabeb of Tubuses said: “It is difficult to say how many lions are involved but three horses were killed in the last three weeks, among other livestock, which includes donkeys, goats and sheep.

“These lions move around. We don't know where they will strike next. We have lost many animals because of the drought. Now we are losing more to these lions,” he said. Oupa August /Oxurub, who has a farm in the area, said one of his horses and some donkeys were killed.

“We only see the spoor, not the lion. The environment ministry must take these lions back to the zoo [park],” he said.

Others accused the ministry of relocating the lions to the Erongo mountains without properly consulting the communities in areas that may be affected, and not taking into consideration the possible consequences. They further accused the government of not carrying through with the relocation of lions to the Etosha National Park as was promised.

“The communities' only means of transport are donkeys, and horses and few livestock remain after the severe drought. It appears the lions were dumped to drive us further into poverty and to increase the influx of people to the towns due to the fear of the lions.

“We hope this is not the objective,” one community resident said.

The environment ministry's spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, yesterday said his office was not aware of the latest attacks in Erongo and said he would consult ministry representatives on the ground to investigate and give feedback.

He admitted that the four lions in the Erongo mountains that were supposed to be relocated again (due to risk concerns) to Etosha in January have still not been located because of difficulty in tracing the animals in the bushy mountainous terrain.

“We are still looking for them. We have received many reports from people as to their location, but these all ended without success,” he said, being careful not to blame the four 'problem lions', stating that this first had to be verified.

Asked if it was a wrong decision by the environment ministry to relocate the lions to Erongo in the first place, he said the decision was based on conserving the lions and preventing them from causing further damage or being killed in the ongoing human-wildlife conflict.

“If it is the same lions and if what is happening is true, it would be quite regrettable,” he said. The four lions were relocated from Kunene to Erongo region last November after killing over 250 small livestock in the Torra Conservancy. Earlier this year, the ministry decided to relocate them again due to concerns over risks from farmers and the community in the area.


Source: https://www.namibian.com.na/66873/read/Lions-terrorise-Erongo-community
 

CAustin

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Thank you for sharing!
 

flatwater bill

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Namstay............thanks for article. Maybe we could get a grant, or have a couple of committee meetings to deal with this...................Flatwater Bill
 

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