Mmegi Online :: Nkange lions outfox hunters, wildlife officers
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Last Updated
Thursday 21 September 2017, 12:09 pm.
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Nkange lions outfox hunters, wildlife officers

FRANCISTOWN: A search party comprising veterinary officers and professional hunters from Charles Hill has packed its bags, after returning from the bush empty handed in a failed bid to capture a pride of lions that have been terrorising Nkange and surrounding villages.
By Lesedi Mkhutshwa Thu 07 Sep 2017, 13:29 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nkange lions outfox hunters, wildlife officers








The lions, estimated to number up to 10, killed 25 cows, 17 goats and six donkeys, causing losses of about P116,000 within a one month period in the area. The lions imposed an unofficial curfew as villagers cowered in fear for their lives.

The Department of Wildlife responded by dispatching the veterinary officers, together with a professional hunter from Charles Hill to track down the lions. Wildlife department  deputy director, Rexboy Mokandla told Mmegi that the search was called off on Monday after their efforts bore no fruit in the past two weeks.

“It became difficult to trace the lions because of the thick bushes surrounding the area. We were also hindered by poor network as we needed to effectively communicate during the operation,” he said. He said they failed to capture the lions even after using different techniques such as a helicopter and a loudspeaker.

“We hung a loud speaker on a tree and played an audio cassette of lions eating their prey. Through this, we managed to attract two lions.

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However, they sensed the trap and started moving in circles near the cage. They then ran away after hearing the movements of officers and dogs.”

Mokandla said even though the search was fruitless, the team had managed to chase the lions into the wild away from villages, using dogs. He said the dogs chased the lions 70 kilometres away from Nkange towards an area near Sephato along the border with Zimbabwe. “We assume that the lions have gone and will stay in the wild. We have been monitoring all the places they terrorised since last week but there are no signs of them,” he said.

Mokandla said affected villagers have been living in peace in recent days.  Meanwhile, animal control officers have been left behind to monitor any signs of dreaded cats.

Kgosi Toteng Nzonga of Nkange said peace had returned to the village. “Even though there are no signs of the lions, people should always stay alert and stay away from the wild at all times,” he said.

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