Beitbridge vil­lagers lose live­stock to hye­nas

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National/gender/health News - Mashudu Mambo Sun­day News Re­porter

A PACK of hye­nas has in­vaded some parts of Mpande area in Beitbridge District, Mata­bele­land South, killing live­stock while vil­lagers are now liv­ing in fear of at­tacks by the wild an­i­mals.

Re­cently, Mr Shadreck Moyo, from the area lost nine goats to a hyena which at­tacked the an­i­mals in a pen.

“A hyena came at night and ate nine goats which were in my pen.

“Many peo­ple have lost other an­i­mals such as don­keys and cat­tle. We have now re­sorted to set­ting fire at night to scare them away,” he said.

Vil­lagers said they were now afraid that the wild an­i­mals might end up tar­get­ing peo­ple.

Chief Stauze of Beitbridge said the sit­u­a­tion was be­ing com­pli­cated by laws which do not al­low com­mu­nity mem­bers to kill the an­i­mals.

“They can only re­port to the vil­lage head and other re­spon­si­ble author­i­ties and can­not do any­thing to the an­i­mal even if they find it de­vour­ing their live­stock,” he said.

Beitbridge Ru­ral District Coun­cil Camp­fire of­fi­cer Mr Peter Ncube said the prob­lem was preva­lent in the whole district but ef­forts were be­ing made to deal with the prob­lem.

“This prob­lem is not only in Mpande, but through­out the district and re­cently there are some re­ports of cun­ning hye­nas that are killing penned an­i­mals.

“The long term so­lu­tion to deal with hye­nas is train­ing herd-dogs and this has been tra­di­tion­ally proven that there is no way a hyena can eat live­stock when these herd dogs are there,” said Mr Ncube.

“If we re­ceive such re­ports as Camp­fire, we in­form a sa­fari op­er­a­tor who uses a hyena collar to trap the hye­nas.

“This collar pro­duces sounds of a hyena which has a prey and thus mak­ing all the nearby hye­nas come and get trapped or even killed de­pend­ing on the re­ported case,” said Mr Ncube.

Last year, there were re­ports in Gwanda that hye­nas were ter­ror­is­ing vil­lagers by invading their home­steads and killing live­stock.

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