By Loveness Bepete
RESIDENTS of Bulawayo’s western suburbs are living in fear following reports that three lions were spotted near Entumbane suburb. The lions were reportedly roaming the western parts of the city and were first spotted near a bushy area in Entumbane on Wednesday evening.
A number of schools in the area have since written circulars warning pupils of the lions.
A worker at National Railways of Zimbabwe who declined to be named said he saw the lions in a nearby bush while he was on night duty at their Diesel Shed depot near Entumbane.
“I saw the lions from my workplace. At first l could not believe my eyes but the sound of the roaring lions made me realise that what was before me was real,” he said.
Pupils from Zulukandaba Primary and Entabeni Primary Schools said they had also learned about the presence of the lions in their area.
They said school authorities have since told them to be on the lookout for the beasts.
The deputy headmaster of Zulukandaba Primary School who refused to give his name confirmed writing a circular warning pupils about the lions.
“We didn’t see the lions but we heard about them from the residents. As a school we had to warn our pupils not to move close to the bush where the lions were seen,” said the deputy head.
Pupils from Entabeni Primary School said their headmistress had to call an emergency assembly meeting to warn them about the lions.
A police officer based at Entumbane Police Station confirmed receiving a report about the lions.
The officer said they were trying to locate the lions.
“We urge parents to accompany their children to school just to make sure that they are safe. Rumours are circulating and we cannot confirm if these lions really exist,” he said.
Sithembekile Tshuma, a parent, said it was going to be difficult for her to accompany her children to school since she was employed.
“As parents we appeal to the responsible authorities to try and hunt down these lions. We can no longer move freely in the area as we fear being killed by the lions,” Tshuma said.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority area manager Givemore Mukuya said they received reports of the lions and their team was still investigating.
“We did not see any signs of the lions yesterday not even a spoor. Our teams are still investigating. We left our contact details with NRZ security guards just in case they again spot the lions, said Mukuya.
Last year a stray lion caused a stir in Bulawayo’s eastern areas as it was said to be moving from one suburb to another. The lion was never located. The Chronicle