REALITIES OF HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT WEST OF ETOSHA, NAMIBIA
A report reached us on Wednesday regarding the shooting of two of three young male lions that attacked a cow in a small village on communal farmland west of Etosha.
In the early hours or Wednesday morning, the farmer heard his cattle become restless and the typical sounds of an animal in pain – he fired a shot(s) in the general direction, wounding one lion; the other two ran for a range of hills further away, where one more lion was shot, the third disappearing into the hill-thickets. During the search for the wounded lion (that was subsequently shot and killed), one young farmer was badly bitten on his arm; he is in hospital and according to reports and doing well.
During mid-May 2017, a group of five young males (estimated ages 3-4 years) arrived in the Hobatere Concession – we are not sure as to where these males hail from, but we guess they may be from the Ombonde River area to the west or from the Etosha National Park.
Two of our resident females, Hpl-12 (Sidatia) and her younger sister, attracted these newcomers to a then peaceful and safe home to the Hobatere North Pride (SPOTS-Pride), comprising amongst others, seven 10-month old cubs; the two adult females, SPOTS (Hpl-1) and her 4.5 yr old daughter, Meyana, instinctively left the Hobatere Concession (a photographic tourism concession), moving southwards onto communal farmland.
The AfriCat field teams, supported by the local conservancy game guards and the Ministry of Environment & Tourism, are monitoring their movements day and night, to protect farmer, livestock and the lions alike.
We suspect that the 2 males killed are part of at the group of newcomers to the area; once we have photographs of their whisker-spot patterns, we shall be able to establish their identity.
The situation is becoming RADICAL very quickly as we require the support from MET more and more.
Our Lion Guards are out EVERY night to help defuse conflict situations, trying to educate & plead tolerance towards our wildlife.
***Please note that this report does not intend to criticize nor blame, but serves to inform the public of incidents of Human Wildlife Conflict, which is taking its toll, both for livestock and lions***