MASVINGO Villagers under Chief Mkanganwis area in Bikita are living in fear after a pride of about four lions that strayed from the nearby Devuli Ranch Conservancy reportedly killed about 50 cattle in the last two weeks.
Devuli Ranch Conservancy is run by Bikita Rural District Council.
Villagers said close to 50 beasts had fallen prey to the lions since they escaped from a sabotaged fence two weeks ago.
I lost two cattle, and my neighbour lost a donkey. Several others have been affected, and we estimate the number of killed beats to be around 50.
Very few have been spared, and now we fear for our children. The lions have imposed a curfew on us, said Agnes Masunda, from Mbirishava village.
Another villager from Hanyana village called on the relevant authorities to track down the stray lions.
It is high time that the government helps us to hunt down the animals because they have caused untold suffering to us.
We cannot freely do our daily chores, like tending to our crops, the villager said.
However, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said the situation was not as bad as alleged.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZPWA), Bikita Rural District Council and the police went on the ground to assess the situation after receiving reports that the lions that had strayed had killed scores of cattle.
But investigations revealed that only one had actually been killed.
However, our rangers are still on the ground monitoring the situation, said ZPWA spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo adding that contrary to reports, the pride on the loose comprises three lions, not four.