Peasant farmers in the north-eastern part of the country are sleeping with one eye open fearing for their livestock following revelations that stray lions are roaming freely in their area.
This was revealed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks office in Masunga.
City Kealotswe, the chairperson of the North East District Council told the ongoing full council session on Monday that the stray lions are wreaking havoc at the villages of Patayamatebele, Matopi, Matsiloje and the surrounding cattleposts.
“The lions have been killing a number of livestock since November last year,” said the chairperson, adding that the numbers are expected to increase as the stray lions are yet to be captured.
Livestock killed include nine cattle, ten donkeys and two horses amid revelations that some small stock such as goats, sheep and dogs have gone missing but not reported with the relevant authorities.
The Voice has been reliably informed that some residents who have lost their animals have not reported as they believe that the animals would be located someday.
The belief is that the animals are grazing and will come back.
“All these animals were killed during the night at the grazing area,” revealed Kealotswe. He took a swipe at the farmers for not taking proper care of their livestock.
“This is an indication that farmers are not taking care of their livestock by herding during the day and kraaling at night,” said Kealotswe.
Kealotswe further reminded farmers that compensation will only be effected when a farmer has shown that he/she has taken reasonable measures to protect his/her livestock.
Kealotswe warned other farmers in nearby villages to be vigilant at all times as the lions are likely to look for new hunting ground.
In a bid to capture the lions, Kealotswe said wildlife officials have requested assistance from other law enforcement agencies like the BDF (Botswana Defense Force) and the BPS (Botswana Police Service).