Zimparks dismisses stray lions story
By Thupeyo Muleya
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has dismissed claims by a motorist who claimed to have seen five stray lions attacking a cow at the 70km peg along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Road on Saturday evening.
An audio from the unidentified motorist went viral on social media urging communities in Mazunga, Musane and Makhado, who live near the area where the pride of ‘lions’ were spotted, to be vigilant.
However, Zimparks spokesperson, Mr Tinashe Farawo said their officials had visited the area together with game scouts from Bubye Valley Conservancy (BVC) where they established that the cow was hit by a heavy vehicle on New Year’s Eve.
“This audio is false. This cow was killed as a result of an accident on December 31 and there were no lions’ spoors seen on the carcass and the surrounding areas.
“Hyenas’ and dogs’ spoors were all over the place and on the carcass. No lions escaped from the conservancy, our team went on the ground with BVC employees to assess the situation on the ground,” said Mr Farawo.
Wild animals especially lions and elephants have become a perennial headache for people living mainly along the Shashe and Limpopo rivers.
The animals cross the rivers from national parks in South Africa or Botswana to hunt.
In October last year, a member of the ZRP’s Support Unit deployed to Beitbridge had to fake death to avoid further attacks by a herd of elephants that pounced on him while on patrol with colleagues and soldiers along Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa.
The attack that left the police officer with a broken rib, occurred at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, some 110km west of Beitbridge Border Post.
A few years ago, a villager from Jalukange area in Beitbridge West who was tracking his stray donkeys, survived an attack by a lion that had strayed from Botswana .
Sifelani Moyo who resides under Chief Tshitaudze is said to have hit the wild cat on the mouth with a stone and it ran away. The Chronicle