TERROR LION GUNNED DOWN

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NATION REPORTER

 A LONE Lion which was terrorising villagers in Lisittu area in Chirundu district has been gunned down by National Parks and Wildlife officers.

One of the villagers, Patrick Makukisi, told the Daily Nation in Siavonga yesterday that the lion was traced and killed near Lusitu River where it was drinking water after it killed some goats at one of the villages.

The lion was suspected to have crossed into Zambia from Zimbabwe through the lower Zambezi.

Following the gunning down of the lion, Siavonga District commissioner Lovemore Kanyama directed the National Parks and Wildlife Authority officers in Siavonga and Chirundu districts to find other ways of controlling wild animals as opposed to killing them when they were in conflict with local communities.

Mr Kanyama noted that within a space of 8 months, rangers in the two districts had killed two lions, a buffalo and some hippos which had caused terror to local communities. Killing the animals should stop because if the trend was left to continue unchecked, it could lead to the extinction of wild animals in the two areas, he said.

He said killing wild animals was not a solution to the problem of human/animal conflicts for a district like Siavonga which is a tourist destination as animals were tourist attractions.

”National parks and wildlife officers must come up with measures of preventing wild animals from killing domestic animals such as cows and goats in both Siavonga and Chirundu districts,’’ Mr Kanyama said, warning that any wildlife officer who disobeyed his directive would be disciplined.

Mr Kanyama was himself recently condemned by a Zimbabwe-based animal conservationist in Kariba town when he directed the wildlife officers to crop crocodiles on Lake Kariba to reduce attacks on people in the area.

The conservationist, Mr. Kelvin Mpofu, said if implemented, Mr Kanyama’s directive would lead to the extinction of the crocodiles and cause negative impact on aquatic life on the lake as water reptiles and animals depended on each other for survival.

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