Ministry condemns lions' killing

23 May 2017 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAY (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has condemned the recent killing of lions around the Etosha National Park, saying it was done without the authority’s approval.
In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry’s Chief Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda stressed the importance of a permit.
“We urge communities and farmers not to take the law into their own hands as the killings of the lions, or any wild animal, without a permit is illegal unless such killing was done in defence of human life or property.”
Muyunda urged communities living around the park to report such matters to the ministry for immediate action.
Farmers in the Omusati Region’s Ongandjera Traditional Authority (OTA) have been killing lions they say are causing havoc by killing their livestock since last month.
A lion was killed on Sunday and two other lions on Monday at Uutsathima village, following reports of them having killed two cattle at a post belonging to the father of businessman, David Kambwa Sheehama on Saturday.
Spokesperson of the OTA, John Kandombo, on Tuesday confirmed to Nampa in a telephone interview the killing of three lions at Uutsathima in the latest human-wildlife conflict between Sunday and Monday.
In the statement, Muyunda said the lions escaped from the national park and were attracted by livestock grazing on its borders. He said livestock are easy prey for lions but their killing in retaliation to alleged attacks on livestock can affect the ecosystem and home ranges of the specie.
The ministry, according to him, is aware of increased wildlife, which has led to the conflict between lions and communities, while every lion is collared for the rangers to monitor the predators’ movement.
Muyunda said the ministry is investigating the lions’ killing and if found that the wildlife were killed with no good reason or not in accordance with the applicable legislation, cases of illegal hunting will be opened against the farmers.