Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
HWANGE residents panicked on Thursday following reports that some lions had been spotted in the coal mining town.
While the sight of lions and other wild animals is not unusual in areas around Hwange, Binga and Lupane in Matabeleland North, residents panicked after a carcass of a cow was found purportedly half eaten by the big cat near the main road next to Insomnia night club.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority officials said their offices were inundated by calls from residents who claimed there was a pride of lions in town although none of them had physically seen them.
ZimParks rangers swiftly reacted and discovered that there was no proof of lions in the vicinity.
The wildlife authority spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said investigations showed that there were no lions that had invaded the town although he reiterated the need for people to be on the lookout for their safety.
The cow was allegedly hit by a truck and eaten by hyenas.
“It’s not true that there are lions in town. We have done our investigations and are showing that the cow might have been hit by a truck and hyenas fed on it. There is no evidence linking lions to that cow as there were only hyena spoors there,” he said.
Lions have been wreaking havoc especially on Mabale n the same Hwange district where they reportedly killed dozens of cattle and goats since December last year.
Villagers have called for set-up of village committees that should be trained to react to wild animal scares and alert the community to be able to drive the animals away or alert respective authorities.
Meanwhile, a pride of five lions was spotted in Victoria Falls near Rainbow Hotel Friday afternoon crossing Park Way that leads to Zambezi National Park from the city centre.
Government is currently re-modeling the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) programme to be able to compensate victims, and also make sure communities benefit from the animal resource in their communities while making councils more accountable for the usage of revenue from hunting.
Article Source: The Chronicle