Human and wildlife conflict escalates in Chipinge… as three lions were poisoned to death


As the human and wildlife conflict escalates, three marauding lions  were poisoned in Chibuwe area, Chipinge.

Villagers were living in fear as the lions continue to roam around the area in  Manicaland Province.

In a statement National Parks and Wildlife has been pushed to act following the poisoning to death of three lions belonging to Save Valley Conservancy by Chibuwe villagers in an alleged act of revenge following years of losing livestock and crops to wildlife.

The statement said National Parks and Wildlife from Chipangayi Safaris organized an awareness campaign to avert the potential danger caused by the poisoning of the lions.

A team led by Evans Mhosira warned the community that the poison on the lions may lead to human death if not handled with caution.

“Animals like dogs and birds who feed on the bodies of the lions can spread diseases that will eventually harm the ecosystem,” said Mhosira.

National Parks and Wildlife said experts were going to conduct forensic processes on the corpses to establish the type of poison that was used.

Despite warnings on the dangers of such actions by National Parks officials, villagers said they were not bothered but celebrating the reality that the marauding lions were finally dead.

Catherine Vhutuza, a villager from Chibuwe said the death of these lions were relief to villagers who had endured years of losing livestock and crops.

“Mwari watizwa kuti mhondoro dzafa tanga tambaashungurudzika munharaunda yeshe” said Catherine Vhutuza.

Area councilor, Charles Mugidho called for a deeper approach to end the wildlife and human conflict along the Save Valley conservancy.

“The major challenge is the failure by government to resolve disputes around ownership of the Conservancy and Save Valley Conservancy is not sure of their fate, hence their reluctance to invest in repairing the boundary fence. So our call is for government to settle its ownership dispute to save people from further losses,” said Mugidho.

The human and wildlife conflict between Chipinge villagers and Save Valley Conservancy is not new in Chibuwe but a challenge that has been ongoing for more than five years.

The conservancy boundary covers two constituencies namely Musikavanhu and Chipinge West. The issue is now before Parliament of Zimbabwe which is expected to visit the areas to conduct hearings sessions before the end of this month.

Platform for Youth Development which has been at the forefront in engaging parliament over the conflict is hopeful that an amicable solution will be reached should both parties be sincere and commit to ending the conflict.

The communities bordering Save Valley Conservancy have to date lost an estimated 450 livestocks with crops worth over US $300 000 destroyed in the process.