By Luckmore Safuli
ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers working together with CAMPFIRE scouts have eliminated a problem lion which was part of the pride that had been terrorising villagers in Mabale area in Hwange.
Less than four days after the capture of four sub-adult lions that had wreaked havoc in the Mabale area, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has confirmed the killing of the remaining lioness bring to an end an operation that took an entire month.
The lioness which was elusive and evaded several traps which were set up around the area was finally eliminated thanks to the effort by the country’s wildlife authority rangers and CAMPFIRE scouts.
Zimparks Public Relations Manager Mr Tinashe Fawaro confirmed the killing of the problem animal and stressed that elimination of the problem animal remains the last option when efforts to capture fail.
“Following the capture of four lions last week in Mabale, our officers have managed to eliminate the remaining lion and let me stress that elimination of problem animals is the last option. We capture lions or any other problem animals before releasing them deep into the national parks. Capture and translocation remain expensive undertaking and we continue to call upon our partners to come on board and assist,” he said.
Dopota Village Head Mr Evans commended Zimparks and its partners for responding to their distress call and stressed the need for a collaborative effort in dealing with human-wildlife conflict.
“The elimination of the remaining lion has come as a huge relief to us as a community. We were not no longer comfortable going about our daily duties and now we can go back to our fields and our children can now safely walk to school,” he said.
The other four lions which were successfully captured last Saturday using a cage trap are set to be released into the Hwange National Park.
The capture of the four marauding lions and the killing of the remaining lioness has brought huge relief to the villagers who were living in fear of the predators.
Capture and translocations of lions remain one of the most expensive strategies in mitigating human-wildlife conflict. Zimparks has since made a passionate plea to all stakeholders to come on board and assist in carrying out such costly operations.