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Dete villagers in bid to save livestock from marauding lions

Villagers in Magoli village, Dete, who lost livestock to a stray pride of three nomad male lions have put up a boma to prevent further loss.

A boma is an enclosure, especially for animals.

Discussions held between Hwange Lion Research, Parks and the Rural District Council concluded that in the absence of other options to move the lions, they would have to be shot.

The villagers attained support from conservationists and various organisations who donated money and building material among other resources needed to go through with the task.

Speaking to CITE in an interview, Mr Ndlelende Ncube, coordinator of Tikobane Trust, said they were working with Mother Africa Trust who roped in some Norwegian volunteers to assist.

“After engaging the ZimParks, we realised we were not getting much assistance. More livestock continued to be killed which indicated that the danger for more loss was eminent,” said Ncube.

“As a community we decided to engage organisations, councillors and traditional leaders. We are grateful for the tremendous support we got in form of finance, building material among other resources”.

Ms Sharoon Hoole, who is part of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force who works closely with the community said the community accepted the need for the project and took responsibility over it.

“Mother Africa Trust and Panthera came to give guidance. They agreed to build a community boma at no cost and to bring more help. Together with the community, a predator secure boma was put up from scratch.

Ms Hoole said the responsibility taken by the community indicates an understanding on the need to conserve wildlife.

“These lions caused chaos from Chizaria to Dete hunting livestock. Everyone involved in the building of the structure identifies with the problems faced. This has motivated everyone to accept the project and feel entitled to own it.”

Ms Hoole said the decision to kill the lions without transparency unsettled numerous parties interested in the conservation of wildlife.

“People wanted to save the lions while others lobbied for the plight of the community. We were aware the Parks would do nothing and killing is no solution for the community because there is a high probability after these lions more animals could come,” she said.

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