BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has ordered Kariba residents to stop throwing food to baboons to keep them away from residential areas.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said if they are denied food, the animals would immediately “venture into the game area” for survival.
“We know that baboons are a menace in Kariba, but residents must stop throwing food to these animals. We are calling on residents to starve baboons so that they revert back into forests where they will survive on natural edibles as their natural norm,” he said.
Farawo’s comments follow a weekend meeting between residents of wards 4 and 5 and ZimParks officials. The meeting was facilitated by Patsaka-Nyaminyami community radio station.
Ward 4 representative James Danga said: “ZimParks is not helping us by tackling baboons that are a menace.”
Besides baboons, monkeys, wild cats, lions and elephants have caused sleepless nights to residents.
Participants resolved that ZimParks should drive the animals back into the parks area to reduce their numbers.
“We are not necessarily suggesting killing these animals,” Chipo Mudekwa said.
Farawo said while it was possible to drive the animals into the wild, uncollected garbage was also a source of problems in Kariba.
“Baboons scavenge for food around some places, including dumpsites that are hardly cleared by service providers. We call upon stakeholders to improve on waste management to deter these animals around residential areas. We hope if these areas are protected and managed well and if they are starved, they will not venture into the resort town,” he said.
Baboons are terrorising residents, particularly women and children. In some instances, they break vehicle windscreens, house roofs, doors and windows to pilfer for food.