20 Jan 2018 16:40pm
SWAKOPMUND, 20 JAN (NAMPA) - Game rangers are currently searching for a pride of four lions in the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary to relocate them to the Etosha National Park.
Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) Romeo Muyunda said the area is vast and the lions do not have collars.
As soon as they find them they will relocate them immediately, Muyunda told Nampa on Friday.
The lions were relocated from the Torra Conservancy in the Kunene Region to the sanctuary in the Omaruru area in November last year after they killed more than 86 goats.
After the relocation, the farmers and community members in the area objected to their existence there, citing lack of consultation and fear for their lives and animals.
As such, Muyunda said a decision was taken last week to further move the animals to Etosha.
The area where the lions are currently roaming is estimated to be 180 000 hectares.
Also speaking to this agency on Saturday, Fabianus Uaseuapuani, senior councillor and spokesperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority in Omatjete, thanked the ministry for the plans to relocate the lions, saying the community was not happy with the lions brought there without prior consultation.
We already have a problem with elephants killing our people and now they bring the lions again. If they are relocating them, we are really happy; it is all that we needed, said the traditional leader.
Uaseuapuani said in December last year, four cases of lions killing livestock were reported.
A Brahman bull was killed in the Otjomue village, two donkeys in Omitjira and Otjongundu villages, and a horse in the area of Ugab River, he noted.
Uaseuapuani could, however, not link all the killings to the translocated lions alone as there are other resident lions in Ugab that killed 172 sheep last week.
Two of these lions that killed sheep, Muyunda said, were fitted with radio collars. These collars help rangers monitor the lions movement and warn farmers when lions approach their farms.