TANAPA uses chopper to hunt marauding lions

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

The TANAPA Conservation Commissioner (CC) William Mwakilema last weekend joined a task force formed by Tanzania Wildlife Authorities (TAWA) and KDU to track down more than five lions which escaped from their natural habitat at Ruaha Game Reserve and are now killing and eating domestic animals including cattle, pigs and even chickens, causing panic among the villagers.

‘’We have deployed a team of 17 personnel from Ruaha Game Reserve and these have joined forces with TAWA, KDU and Iringa regional authorities, to hunt the lions. We are using patrol vehicles and a helicopter and I have contacted AWF at Manyara Ranch to assist us with sniffer dogs, said CC Mwakilema.

So far, the marauding lions have trekked a distance of 70 kilometres from their habitat, and devoured at least 39 domestic animals, mostly cattle.

They were initially spotted at Magoma Ward, Tanangozi and Kiponzelya near Iringa Municipality, according to Iringa District Commissioner Veronica Kessy.

A resident of Tanangozi, Grayson Laurent Mtende said villagers have stopped working on their farms and are being advised not to get out at night, as they wait eagerly to be updated by the authorities on the whereabouts of the lions.

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