Sunday, January 15, 2006

Marauding lion killed in Nkhata Bay

Marauding lion killed in Nkhata Bay

by Francis Tayanjah-Phiri, 14 January 2006 - 03:20:36

Game rangers on Thursday killed a marauding lion that has been attacking people and livestock in Nkhata Bay district.

Mzuzu Parks and Wildlife Officer, Alex Chunga, who led a group of four rangers to hunt for the lion, said they found the lion hiding along the Kajiliwe River bank, at Vivya village, 10 kilometres west of Kawalazi Tea Estate factory.

“Simultaneous shots by our game rangers, Hopeson Chimjuzi Gondwe and Goodnews Gumbo, killed the lion, which jumped for dear life to another spot 40 metres away. We traced its hiding place through a tip by villagers, who had been monitoring its movement after its final attack,” said Chunga, in an interview Friday.

Gondwe said it was a challenge to kill the male lion that had been causing sleepless nights to people in T /A Kabunduli’s area in Nkhata Bay.

“We arrived at the scene sometime after [1200GMT], and started tracing the lion. When we spotted it resting along the Kajiliwe River, I fired a first shot which was followed by another one from Gumbo, almost simultaneously, and the lion died,” said Gondwe.

Chunga said they suspected the lion to be over 20 years old but dismissed fears that it had rabies.

“This lion may just have strayed from others, we suspect it came from somewhere around Nkhotakota Game Reserve,” said Chunga.

Reports of a lion being spotted started reaching his office from Tukombo in November, then a few weeks later the people Chikangawa forest also reported the same, he said.

Currently, he said, over five people have been attacked by the lion; however no one has been killed. He said his team of rangers was still monitoring the situation in the area, where there are rumours that they may be two lions.

Chunga said it was possible this was a lone lion because naturally, lions cover a long distance in a day.

“Of course, there could be another lion, but not more than two,” he said.

Many people in Mzuzu had flocked to the Parks and Wildlife Office in Mzuzu to see the dead lion. Game rangers later paraded the lion around streets of Mzuzu, before it was taken to Mzuzu Natural Sanctuary to be skinned and buried.

http://www.nationmalawi.com/articles.asp?articleID=14639

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