Farmers in Pandamatenga village are frustrated by the soaring human-wildlife conflicts which recently saw a farmer mauled to death by a lion that was terrorising his stock.
A four-man lion hunt turned fatal recently when an angry lion they were hunting attacked the Pandamatenga farmer and killed him, wounding others. The lion has been feeding on the farmers’ cows.
Due to heavy presence of wild animals in Pandamatenga village, human-wildlife conflicts have taken a toll causing problems to small farmers.
Pandamatenga station commander Nelson Museke confirmed the latest incident stating that human-wildlife conflict in their policing area is getting out of control.
He revealed that they have recently lost the life of a 62-year-old from Matobo village in the Central district who was attacked by a lion in his attempt to kill it.
He said that the horrifying incident could have been avoided if at all it was reported to the relevant authorities.
Speaking about the matter, Museke said that during the fateful day at around 1833 hours the area councillor who was in Kasane telephoned him informing him about the incident.
He said that the councillor indicated that there were rumours that a lion was terrorising at Matobe settlements–Deep Maphane cattlepost at around four in the afternoon.
He added: “We then mobilised wildlife officers and police to go there. On our way to the scene, we met the owner of the cattlepost carrying the deceased man and a lion on the of back his van.”
The police boss said that they learnt through the investigation that the deceased man called the owner of the cattlepost earlier on that day informing him that they suspect that his cow was killed by a lion.
He further said that the deceased man then mobilised some men from the same settlement and embarked on a journey for retaliation through tracing and killing the lion.
He said the men had three shotguns and took their dogs so as to trace the lion.
The station commander
He added that the lion became furious and started to attack the other men who fled and climbed the nearest trees.
The police boss added:“ The deceased man also took a turn at shooting at the lion but missed it. In an attempt to attack, the lion reached out to one man who was still climbing the tree and used its paws to scratch his feet but he managed to escape.”
He narrated that after failing to kill the other man, the lion turned to the deceased and attacked him by biting and mauling him until he died on the spot.
Museke said after killing the deceased man the lion sat next to him and was later shot to death by the other three surviving men.
He added that the wounded man was treated and discharge at the local clinic whereas the deceased was certified dead upon arrival at they hospital.
He said that even though there are cases of lions terrorising villagers’ livestock in their policing area, this is the first case of its kind, where a lion or wildlife killed a man.
He said that over the past months Pandamatenga villagers have been terrorised by lions and other dangerous species, which killed mostly their livestock.
Museke also said:“ Due to the trauma caused by the wildlife, some people have resorted to taking matters into their own hands for revenge at the cost of putting their lives in danger.”
The police boss encouraged affected individuals not to take matters into their hands but rather report to the police or the wildlife officials so that they can arrest the situation before it is too late.