Anti-Poaching Update: Human/Wildlife Conflict
From Nkululeko “Freedom” Hlongwane, Bushlife Support Unit Trust Manager, “The heat reflects its brutality in the Zambezi Valley during the months of September, October and November. The valley is oven-hot and begs for moisture. Once away from the Zambezi River, the terrain is a burnt rocky moonscape, the vegetation is cracked and spindly, desperately hugging the life-sustaining springs that dot the area. It is an anxious time to be a browser or grazer forced to concentrate around shrinking water. A bountiful time to be a carnivore with sharp eyes facing forward.
This month I focus on translocation as a tool for mitigating conflict with carnivores in the human-dominated landscape of the Zambezi Valley.
The lion (Panthera leo) is the King of the Beasts, and the symbol of strength and majesty from Old Testament times until the present day. The lion is feared and is a loathed super predator. Once widespread across much of Asia, Southern Europe and all of Africa, the lion’s range has been considerably reduced within historical times. Man, a predator and stock farmer, does not like competition. Lions have been exterminated from Europe, and in even large areas of Africa.
The southern boundary of Mana Pools is a human-dominated landscape. Livestock attacks by predators are common. This year we received several reports of leopards and lions killing and eating people’s livestock in the Nyamakate community, beginning in January to date. Nearly 80 animals have been lost due to lions and leopards in the southern boundary of Mana Pools, Marongora and Rifa blocks.