Buffaloes, lions terrorise Dete villagers

VILLAGERS in Nekabandama in Dete, Matabeleland North, said they were living in fear of being attacked by buffaloes, which recently strayed from the nearby Hwange National Park to join their cattle herds.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

One of the villagers, Thabani Dube, said he escaped death by whisker after setting dogs on one of the male buffaloes.

“Yesterday, when I was grazing cattle, a buffalo came and mixed with my herd. It became difficult to separate it, as it was following cows on heat,” Dube said.

“As I arrived home on the evening, it also got into the kraal, charging and gored my bull and I was force to set dogs on it. It became angry and charged at me. I am lucky to be alive because I ran towards a trench and it failed to cross it, but gored me on the upper shoulder,” he said.

Another villager, Shupani Dube (44) said he also survived an attack after a buffalo charged at him near Nekabandama Growth Point when he tried to separate it from his herd.

Local councillor, Alois Chiuswa said: “We fear that one day these buffaloes will gore someone to death. They become violent, when there is a cow and naturally those cows comply and at times they conceive. The offspring will be wild and very aggressive and cannot be yoked.”

Villagers at the nearby Cross Mabale also complained about lions and hyenas that prey on their livestock, adding that they were not being compensated for their loss.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the matter.

“We have received complaints about wild animals that stray from the park, but what I would like to assure the public is that we respond immediately to problem animals. It’s unfortunate that communities are living in fear, but we can assure them that we continue to do our best to guard our wild. They must report whenever they see a wild animal and it will be taken back to the park.”

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