By Precious Manomano
More than 20 cattle and 30 goats have been killed by lions and leopards in Pfundundu area of Hurungwe District this year as growing overpopulation of game in protected areas nearby drive animals into human settlements.
In an interview Chief Chundu, Mr Abel Mbasera, said villagers in Pfundundu area Ward 7 are failing to live a comfortable life because of wildlife animals devouring their livelihoods.
He said mechanisms should put in place to ensure communities living near game parks benefit from their natural resources.
“The community lost over 50 livestock and people are living in fear because of these wild animals, and they are patrolling the area day and night since there is a nearby game park.
“People are supposed to earn a living through their livestock, they are supposed to benefit from them,”he said.
Chief Chundu said the community was appealing for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to assist the community.
“ZimParks should work together with community members, otherwise we may lose all the livestock,” he said.
ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo assured villagers in the affected areas that the authority would soon deploy rangers to manage the situation.
“We are receiving a lot of reports where animals are not only a danger to humans, but their habitat as well.
“Do not hesitate to inform us if there is a possibility to danger of wild animals, we quickly react to save lives. The situation is going to be worse in dry season where animals will move around in search of water and food,” he said.
Mr Farawo also said over the weekend, a bizarre incident occurred in Mbire where a man was killed in front of his wife by an elephant which was in his maize field.
Since January this year about 23 lives were lost and 28 people injured across Zimbabwe after being attacked by wild animals.
“People should benefit from wildlife, we do not want cases to escalate like this, let us work together because we do not recommend this,” said Mr Farawo.
In 2019 some villagers in parts of Kazangarare-Dete in Hurungwe district lost more livestock after lions and hyenas attacked them.