A sixty-seven-year-old widow from Hwange lost almost her entire herd of cattle and goats overnight to a pride of lions.
Jenifer Khupe, from the Chief Mvuthu area in Matabeleland North’s Hwange West district, said the incident happened on the night of 8 September when she was in the process of selling one of her cows in order to buy food.
Speaking to VicFallsLive, Khupe said their crops were destroyed by elephants during the previous farming season.
She said a total of seven lions killed seven of her 13 herd of cattle that night and 10 goats. Khupe said:
I was in Plumtree when I received a phone call from my son who told me that lions had killed almost all our livestock.
Our kraal was secured in a way that repels predators. It was secured even at the rooftop, but because these lions are now used to marauding around people’s homesteads even during the day, they have become so daring that they can dig deep to gain entry into the kraals.
My son was sleeping at home and he was awoken by neighbours who heard noise from the kraals and they mobilised themselves to scare the lions away.
But it was too late to save the livestock from the predators as the villagers found Khupe’s herd of cattle almost wiped out. Said Khupe:
The lions killed the entire herd of cattle through suffocation and devoured the carcasses, so much that we couldn’t salvage any meat.
As for the goats they just killed seven of them, but left the carcasses untouched.
A local wildlife conservation organisation bought the cattle carcasses for less than US$150.