Beatific Gumbwanda /
06 March 2017, CHIREDZI - Communities around Save Valley Conservancy are losing livestock and are living in perpetual fear of stray lions from the Save Valley Conservancy as human/wildlife conflicts continue in the Lowveld and elsewhere.
Two prides of lions have reportedly been spotted in the previous two months with cattle, donkeys and goats falling prey to the dreaded predators.
Areas that have borne the severest brunt of the havoc are Ward 2 and Ward 24 in Mkwasine Range.
An aide to Chief Gudo, Aaron Maramba told TellZim News that the problem had become very familiar as the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has shown little commitment to trap the animals.
"We are living in fear of lions every day and we have lost livestock. We also fear the lions will attack humans as well. People from the parks were here some few weeks ago but they could not trap the animals because they didn't have bait and cages," said Maramba.
When contacted for comment, acting Zimparks southern region manager, Luke Njiva said people should build strong enclosures for their livestock as reports of stray lions in communities adjacent to the conservancy had become perennial.
"Various remedial actions have been taken to reduce human/wildlife conflict and awareness campaigns have been held in all affected areas.
"People need to construct standard livestock pens which are more than two meters high and covered by adequate material. People in those communities should not leave their livestock unattended to during the day," said Njiva.
Meanwhile, residents who live close to Ruti Dam, Nyazvidzi River, in Gutu are complaining that they no longer feel safe making use of the dam due to rapacious crocodiles.
"The dam is now infested with crocodiles and they are attacking both humans and livestock. It is now dangerous to fish in the dam because the crocodiles attack at all times of the day.
"People are now afraid to cross into Buhera using the improvised canoes that had become very popular and they are now using the longer route which goes through Nhedziwa," said a villager who lives close to Machawira Primary School.local