Lions pounce again – kill 172 sheep at Brandberg area
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) this week said two lions alleged killed 172 sheep at Brandberg, near the White Lady Lodge in the Erongo Region.
According to the Ministry the 172 sheep killed are part of the 600 to 700 sheep kept and owned by the owners of the White Lady Lodge in an area where they operate a tourism business.
Preliminary investigations by the ministry show that 2 lions have been seen in the area close to the lodge and are suspected to have killed the sheep.
Lions have established themselves in the Brandberg area over the years coming from the Ugab River system as the area is a good wildlife habitat with tourism activities on the increase.
“While we are concerned by so many sheep being killed by wild animals in one night, we are shocked about lodge operators keeping livestock in a tourism business area and very close to their lodge. This is a wildlife habitat area where the lions should be roaming. We have also confirmed that the lodge owners were assisted by some people in the area to construct lion proof kraals for the protection of the livestock but these kraals have been built to low standard and poor quality which could not prevent this incident,” MET spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda said.
The ministry advised that all predator proof kraals should be built with specific standards and specifications, which are available to be provided by the Directorate of Wildlife and National Parks in the ministry.
“Despite our efforts to manage human wildlife conflict with the objective of bringing those to sustainable and acceptable levels, it appears that human lion conflict incidences are on the rise. High rainfall variability associated with the recently experienced drought influence the distribution of predators and prey species, as well as the movements of people and their livestock, and we see conflict incidences in areas where they are not expected. We therefore request the public to be vigilant and report any sighting of these predators in areas where they are not expected, to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism or the Conservancy offices,” Muyunda added.
The ministry stated that this incident should not be linked to the lions that the were translocated to the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary as those lions are still in Erongo Mountains and the capturing operation is currently underway.