BY RICHARD MUPONDE
TWO Tsholotsho men have been arrested for killing a lioness which was part of a pride that preyed on their livestock and allegedly killed over 200 livestock in a space of two months.
The pair allegedly killed the predator on Monday in ward 5 which is one of the six wards the carnivores had decimated livestock herds.
Villagers in wards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9, who have lost livestock to the wild animals, are living in fear of the predators.
Lions and hyenas are being spotted even in broad daylight and are attacking livestock in grazing lands and even follow them to their kraals.
They mostly target goats and cattle.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Spiwe Makonese referred questions to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks).
ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo could not immediately comment.
“Can you check with me after lunch at 4pm,” Farawo said.
However, Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson, Esau Siwela yesterday confirmed the killing of the lioness and arrest of the pair.
“It’s true the lion was killed and two men were arrested in ward 5. The matter is within the courts as I speak. Lions and hyenas have become a problem in these areas leading to villagers seeing it fit to trap and kill them. Villagers have lost a lot of livestock to the wild animals,” Siwela said.
He said as of yesterday a pack of wild dogs had also invaded villages killing cattle and goats.
“As I speak, I am receiving a report that wild dogs have killed two cattle and 12 goats in ward 5. Villagers have been left poorer. Reports are made to ZimParks, but at times they take too long to respond,” he said.
Last month, lions and hyenas killed 89 cattle and 82 goats. ZimParks officials from Hwange had to come to the ground to assess the situation and the community still awaits their feedback. However villagers are now contemplating trapping the carnivores on their own.