NEWS DESK POST by AG Editorial, with information sourced from The Namibian and DeLHRA
Over 40 goats have been killed by a pride of lions in Namibia in the past couple of days, in two separate incidents. The first incident occurred early on Saturday morning where a communal farmer in the Torra Conservancy in Kunene Region, Euphrasius Dawids, lost 25 goats to lions. The lions apparently broke through the kraal and killed the rams, ewes and kids. Dawids estimates the loss at about N$40,000.
Two days after that, on Monday, more goats were killed in the same area where communal farmer Desmond Tsuseb lost 19 of his livestock to lions. The animals were found dead in the bush near the farmhouse after they were left out on Sunday (and would usually make their way back to the kraal on their own). As this latest incident took place a few kilometres from the previous incident, it is suspected that the killings were by the same lion pride.
Saturday’s kill was the biggest in more than a year, according to The Namibian, with livestock losses having been limited by measures put in place to deter lions from entering livestock kraals – such as the use of shadecloth kraals (enclosures). Before these measures were in place, major lion attacks on livestock were more frequent.
The drought that is affecting the region has decreased the wild game count by 40% in the last year, say the farmers, with the result of less wildlife for the lions to hunt. This is most likely the reason why the lions have turned to vulnerable prey such as livestock.
Izak Smit from DeLHRA (Desert Lions Human Relations Aid) said in response to the attacks: “The kraal near Bergsig where 25 goats had been killed by lions 3 days ago was only closed with shadecloth on one of the four sides – hence the attack. Farmers should contact us for shadecloth to prevent such losses. The farmer is a friend and collaborator, and we regret his loss. It was a temporary kraal in an area used for emergency drought relief grazing.”