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Brave youths overpower lions, klll 6 •Minister condemns action, vows to deal with ringleaders

By News Express on 02/01/2015

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Brave youths in a village in Tanzania yesterday killed six lions that had entered their village near Tarangire National Park, Anadolu Agency (AA) has reported.

The lions are said to have entered Olasiti village in the northern Manyara region, where they ate three donkeys from a villager’s kraal, a fenced enclosure for livestock.

Simon Abel, an eyewitness from the village who is also Nkaiti Ward Councilor, said a pride of 12 lions from Tarangire had entered the village looking for prey when they were confronted by villagers fearful for their livestock.  

He added that several Maasai youths – locally known as “Moran” or “community warriors” – had helped kill the lions.

“Four of our Morans are now being treated at the nearby Monduli district hospital for injuries they sustained after being attacked by the lions during the battle,” he told AA by phone from the village.

Such wildlife killing usually comes as revenge, mainly by livestock breeders, after their cattle, goats, sheep or other domestic animals are killed or attacked by wild animals.

Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Lazaro Nyalanda condemned the killing of the lions, which are considered an endangered species.

“We are not going to arrest more than 100 villagers who were involved in the battle,” Nyalanda told AA.

“Instead, we’ll deal with the ringleaders who incited the villagers to violate the law that protects our natural resources,” he said.

Manyara acting Police Commander Christopher Fuime told AA that police were already hunting the ringleaders.

Minister Nyalandu has ordered the Tanzania National Parks’ outreach department to invest in educational programmes for villagers living near national parks or other conservation areas.

“My ministry, in collaboration with the prime minister’s office, has launched a program to reform wildlife policy in order to combat conflict and bad relations between villagers near conservation areas and the conservation authorities,” he said.

According to Nyalandu, Tarangire – one of Tanzania’s 16 national parks – has an estimated lion population of between 200 and 250, along with some 3,000 elephants and 10,000 other species.

Tanzania currently has around 15,000 lions in its protected areas. Over the course of the last decade, the country has lost roughly 25 lions per year.

Siril Akko, CEO of Tanzania’s Tour Operators Association, also condemned the incident, but urged the conservation authorities to ensure that villagers near conservation areas were benefiting from the natural resources around them.

“This incident reflects a lack of awareness by the community of the outstanding contribution of wildlife to the community,” he told AA.

“Ownership of the wildlife should be centralised to the community,” added Akko.

Source News Express

Posted 02/01/2015 9:46:27 PM





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