Lions from Etosha National Park have reportedly escaped into the Sesfontein Constituency in the Kunene Region killed 19 goats in one night, according to online Namibian newspaper, Informanté.
The incident was confirmed by a spokesperson from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Romeo Munyunda. “A total of 19 goats were killed and on different nights, a number of sheep and cattle were also killed by two lions at farms near Opuwo in the Kunene Region”, said Muyunda. He added that the ministry is currently monitoring the movement of the lions via satellite.
The number of lions is unknown, but farmers in the area are now financially affected by the attacks. Muyunda said that their loss could well be over N$50,000.
The human-wildlife conflict in Namibia is a serious problem and efforts have been made by MET to handle this and have recently updated their National Policy on Human-Wildlife Conflict.
AfriCat Foundation director, Tammy Hoth, said that they were aware of the escaped lions prior to the recent attacks and had advised the farmers to ensure their kraals were secure against lions. She went on to say that in some cases lions do not kill to consume, but rather kill livestock in instances when mother lions are teaching their cubs how to hunt. In the case of the 19 goats, none of them were consumed.
Hoth said that the Kaokoland is currently being patrolled and it is believed that there are seven cubs with their mothers roaming the area. The local livestock farmers have been made aware of the escaped lions.