No Permission to Kill Lion – But No Consequences

Wildlife won’t compensate Moroka for lion wounds

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks say they wont compensate lion attack victim, Former cabinet Minister, Neo Moroka for his injuries.

The De Beers boss survived a ferocious lion attack at his farm in Kgalagadi, after the wild cat tore into him with claws on the body and left arm, while he was tracking the lion with four others on his farm.

But the wildlife official also says the De Beers boss and his team will not be charged with illegal hunting of the lion, even though they were not accompanied by wildlife officers on the fateful day.

Botswana has banned the hunting of lions since 2007 due to declining numbers. Lion hunting was also banned in 2002, but the wildlife official speaking in relation to the attack on Moroka said the lion had to be hunted and killed.

Speaking in a telephone interview with The Monitor from Gantsi on Friday the regional Wildlife officer, South West Region, Goitseone Lebonetse, said they do not have a policy whereby victims of lion attacks are compensated for the wounds suffered but added that the former Minister of Trade and MP for Kgalagadi South, will be compensated for the loss of his two cows to the lion.

The Wildlife official said Moroka and his team were within the law to hunt the lion even though they did not have permission nor were they accompanied by wildlife officers trained to deal with the situation.

Lebonetse said anyone who has their livestock attacked by wild animals like lions is empowered under the law to kill such animals. Lebonetse said despite what happened when the lion attacked, he maintains that the Moroka team were very capable and did not need wildlife officers to accompany them in the hunt.

According to Hendrick Eister, the man who killed the lion that inflicted five deep cuts on Moroka’s back, the former cabinet Minister had lost two cattle to lions during the festive season, and they decided to hunt the cats down with the view to kill them.

He told our sister paper last week that Wildlife officials informed them that four lions entered Moroka’s farm over the festive season.

The wildlife officers managed to kill one lion after it was reported that it had eaten one cow, but another lion ate another cow later, prompting the farm owner to mobilise hunters and kill the lion on Monday last week.

bigcatrescue.org

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