lion king.jpgParks and Wildlife Management Authority has set up a Lion Task Force Committee whose mandate is to oversee the breeding and keeping of lions following reports of lions that are wrecking havoc in the country killing people and domesticated animals.

 

The formation of the Lion Task Force Committee was prompted by the recent attacks recorded in Mushumbi pools under Chief Chisunga where one person was killed and scores of domesticated animals were  also killed by stray lions.

 

Parks and Wildlife Authority Public Relations Manager , Ms Caroline Washaya Moyo said after the incident the organization has since deployed officials to track down the problem animals adding that, faced with such problems the newly formed committee is expected to come up with long-term solutions.

 

Campfire Association Director, Mr Charles Jonga also raised concern at the increase in human and wildlife conflict currently happening in the country saying it is a result of the increase in lion population and the shrinking prey base sighting the decrease in the populations of buffalos and impalas.

 

He said after the International community raised concern at the continued hunting of lions in 2005, the country then put a ban to lion hunting hence the current increase in lion population in the country that is causing havoc.

Research has revealed that when lions grow old they lose their teeth and the ability to hunt hence they look for a soft targets like human beings and domesticated animals.

 

But once the lions have tested human blood it is believed they will not stop killing people and it will be difficult to rehabilitate them hence the reason why such lions will have to be hunt down and be killed.

 

Calls have also been made for all old lions to be included on the hunting Quota system so as to reduce their number and the risk they pose to people in communities that reside near game parks.

The lion population in the wild is estimated to be between 1000 and 1700 in Zimbabwe alone and about 20 000 in Africa. Lions are on Appendix 11 of CITES and are considered vulnerable by the International Union on Conservation of Nature (IUCN).