Two lion escapes, maulings in 2-week period in Zimbabwe
Killer lions recaptured, man’s body found
By Lindie Whiz
Posted to the web: 13/10/2008 11:42:56
MATABELELAND South police have found the mutilated body of a man believed to have been mauled by a pride of lions which escaped from a cage in Mangwe district last week.
Nelson Silaigwana of Three Streams Farm in Mangwe was reported missing on October 4 – five days after leaving his home to visit his girlfriend.
Police spokesman Trust Ndlovu said Silaigwana’s neighbours triggered the alarm after realising he had not returned.
“They discovered the body on Sunday about one-and-a-half kilometres away and it was in an advanced state of decomposition,” the police spokesman told the Chronicle newspaper.
“His clothes, full of blood stains, were scattered all over the place. Some of the body parts were missing and there were prints of a lion around where the body was.”
The lions, which have now been recaptured, are also believed to have killed seven cattle in their week-long reign of terror after escaping from Sundowns Farm which shares a boundary with Three Streams Farm.
Farmers in the district have demanded that the lions be put down. The farmers are pressing Mangwe Rural District Council and the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to take the measure, saying the lions are now more than likely to kill again if they escape.
Irvine Ncube, a conservation officer for Mangwe RDC said: “The owner of the lions does not want his animals to be killed. As far as we are concerned, that matter is between the concerned farmers and the owner who have to see that legal channels are taken to resolve the matter.”
Ncube also revealed that a single wild lion had been roaming the district for about A YEAR, and had killed more than 20 cattle.
“Just two weeks ago, the lion killed five cattle at a farm in Marula, where there are newly resettled farmers. That lion is very difficult to corner because it strikes in one area and moves far away very quickly,” he said.
“We are now trying to engage hunters.”
Two weeks ago, the eight-year-old daughter of a white farmer was mauled by a lion and a lioness her father kept to deter attacks by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.
Courtney Sparrow, who suffered a hole in her throat and serious injuries to her arms, face and head, underwent ten hours of surgery in Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg.
Her father, Ron Sparrow, one of a handful of whites still farming in Zimbabwe, said he used the lions after the farmhouse in Zimbabwe’s south-eastern Masvingo district was subject to four attacks by so-called war veterans loyal to Mugabe over the past three months.
But two lions broke through a weak window and the lioness attacked Courtney. A domestic worker, whom Mr Sparrow did not name, was injured when she tried to rip Courtney from the lioness’s grip.
When Courtney tried to run away, she was attacked by the male lion. A black farm labourer, also unnamed, beat off the lion with a stick.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org