Vic Falls residents live in fear of stray leopard

0
421

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

RESIDENTS of Victoria Falls are living in fear of a stray leopard which has been roaming the low-density areas  since Monday.

The leopard was spotted on Monday night on CCTV by one of the residents while in his yard at night, and has been reportedly roaming in the suburb since then looking for prey.

Residents have been advised to avoid walking at night as they risked being attacked.

Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association (Vifacora) chairperson Kelvin Moyo confirmed that the cat was spotted in the low-density residential areas and said they had informed Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) about the development.

“We are urging residents to avoid walking at night while we engage ZimParks.

“We have already engaged them so that they professionally trace it and make sure it doesn’t interfere with residents. We know curfew now starts at 10pm, but these are the dangerous times to be moving around,” Moyo said.

“We need to co-exist with the wild animals as Victoria Falls town is situated in a game park. Inasmuch as ZimParks should make sure that the animals don’t live in residential areas, it’s now up to them to assure residents are safe.”

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo yesterday confirmed receiving a report of the stray leopard, adding that their rangers were on the ground tracking it.

“Yes, we received a report that there is a leopard which was spotted roaming at night in the low-density suburbs of Victoria Falls. Our team is on the ground tracking with the view of capturing it. We have not received any reports of any attacks on people or domesticated animals,” Farawo said.

This is not the first time for a leopard to stray into the low-density residential areas of the town as another female one was spotted last year with her cubs.

She terrorised residents, killing dogs and domestic fowls along Courtney Selous Street and Wood Road.

The attacks caused panic among residents, prompting them to stop walking with their dogs which they kept caged.

Several people have lost their lives after being trampled by elephants or gored by buffaloes in the resort town.

Victoria Falls sits in-between two game parks, Chamabondo to the east and Victoria Falls to the west

Follow Richard on Twitter @muponderichard