Problematic lions to be relocated to avoid further human-wildlife conflict
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism have captured the problematic lions, which killed over 200 small livestock in the Torra Conservancy in the Kunene Region during November 2017 and plans to relocate them are in the pipeline.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda this week said, the specific pride captured consists of 8 lions which will be relocated to one of the National Parks.
Muyunda said in order to avoid human-wildlife conflict and ensure conservation of the animals, the ministry opted to relocate the animals from the area instead of killing them off.
“Addressing Human-Wildlife Conflict requires striking a balance between conservation priorities and the needs of people who live with wildlife. Human wildlife conflict needs to be managed in a way that recognizes the rights and development needs of local communities and farmers, recognises the need to promote biodiversity conservation, promotes self-reliance and ensures that decision-making is quick, efficient and based on the best available information,” he added.
According to Muyunda, at the time of capture, there were three private game farms or groups of game farmers who expressed interest to keep lions. Two of the three were not completely ready, while only the farmer from Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary was fully prepared.
“The Ministry would like to appreciate and thank the owners of the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary who had the interest and volunteered to keep these lions on their Sanctuary, for the conservation of lions in Namibia and benefits of the country from tourism and wildlife management,” Muyunda said.
The ministry vowed to take the issue of human-wildlife conflict management seriously, stating that it is indeed a complex and serious problem that if not addressed appropriately, can harm if not destroy conservation efforts and tourism benefits for the country.
“We recognise this threat and in this regard we have finalized the review of the National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict Management which has been approved, in principle, by Cabinet and will now be presented to Parliament,” Muyunda concluded, adding that officials from the ministry are currently on the ground to assist all affected areas.