STRAY lions from Devuli Ranch are wreaking havoc in Chipinge district, Manicaland province, where they killed 11 cattle last month after the conservancy’s perimeter fence was vandalised.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
In an interview with NewsDay over the weekend, members of the Save Odzi Community Network Trust said they feared that the stray animals would one day attack people in the nearby settlements of Goko, Charuma, Taona, Gwama, Nyunga and Musani.
They said they had reported the matter numerous times to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, but they were advised to buy a security fence to keep out the wild animals which also include elephants and buffaloes.
“There are lions, elephants and buffaloes from Devuli Ranch that are crossing into the Chipinge side,” Isaac Ziwenjere said.
“The lions are targeting cattle and goats and so far people have lost a lot of livestock. Last month alone, we lost 11 cattle that were devoured by the stray lions.
“The other animals are so destructive too. Elephants and buffaloes are also a danger to human life.”
He added: “When we approach the Parks and Wildlife department, they accuse us of vandalising the security fence.”
Ziwenjere said the parks department was urging the villagers to contribute 50% to buy the security fence.
“The villagers cannot afford to do that. We are also disputing the allegation that we are the ones who vandalised the security fence there,” he said.
In an interview yesterday, Chipinge district administrator Edgars Seenza said he was aware of the problem and efforts were being made to erect an electrified fence.
“The solution lies on re-establishing the fence on the conservancy. The electric fence is the only solution and that is what is being planned,” he said.
Seenza said the ranch was privately owned and villagers could approach the owners for compensation claims.