A ranger with guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on a safari drive on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains close to a pride of lions.
“We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.
An axe and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. The lions had been heard making a commotion in the early morning hours.
“We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the axe confirmed it,” Fox said. “They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn.”
South Africa is home the biggest population of the world’s rhinos, whose numbers has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine as an ‘effective remedy’ from impotence and prostate cancer.
More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year.
Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Namibia has revised the national policy on Human Wildlife Conflict in efforts to prevent incidents that have escalated over the years.
Cases of human wildlife conflict in the country become more frequent over the years with communities and farmers expressing concern regarding the issue, said the Environment Ministry spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda.
“In this regard, we have revised the 2009 Human Wildlife Conflict policy to look at new strategies to better address the situation,” Muyunda added.
Human wildlife conflict is any event in which animals injure, destroy or damage human life or property and are killed, injured, captured or otherwise harmed as a result both humans and animals suffer from the interaction with each other.
Muyunda informed that the policy which deals with human deaths, injuries, livestock losses and crop damages by wildlife will be officially launched next week by the Environment Minister, Pohamba Shifeta.
Meanwhile last year the Ministry launched the North-West Human Lion Conflict Management Plan with specific strategies to manage lion incidents with humans, while farmets routinly indudlge in retaliatory killings and poisoning of losing their habitat big cats.
Gradually Namibia became notorious for lion’s killings, increasingly attracting attention of researchers raising their concerns about the brutality of extermination of country’s lions population.
The lions of the Razgrad zoo, aged between 3 months and 12 years, will soon have a life free from suffering. The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has saved the animals from particularly adverse conditions in an urgent rescue mission which took place over two days. Thus far, the big cats, who come from a three-generation-long inbred line, vegetated for years without any medical care in tiny enclosures.
“To see the animals like that was shocking. Never in their lifetime have these lions been examined by a veterinarian. This is fatal, especially in the light of the systematic inbreeding of the big cats. Here, the descendants of siblings have procreated uncontrolled due to lack of care,” reports FOUR PAWS big cat expert Barbara van Genne. In the past, the bred lions were sold to other zoos, circuses and private persons.
The introduction of a stricter legislation in Bulgaria in 2008, however, led to a reduced demand. Hence, the big cats remained in the Razgrad Zoo.
Since the city owns the zoo, FOUR PAWS convinced the mayor of Razgrad to intervene. The international team of veterinarians provided medical care to all lions and additionally sterilised two adult males. Due to the lack of physical exercise, the older lions already suffer from severe issues with their spines. It is likely that the younger ones will face the same health problems soon.
A 3-year-old lion whose condition was particularly critical has already been brought to Sofia for comprehensive examinations. The veterinarians found sand in his bladder and diagnosed fibrosis in the kidneys. The upcoming results of a CT scan will provide more details about his health. As soon as he is fit enough, FOUR PAWS will transfer the lion to one of its own sanctuaries.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday he is putting a decision to allow imports of elephant trophies on hold after a torrent of criticism from conservation advocates and across social media.
Trump’s reversal came hours after his administration released a rule on Friday to allow hunters who kill elephants in Zimbabwe to bring their trophies back to the United States, which had been banned by the Obama administration.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement that he had spoken with Trump and “both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical.” He said the “issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”
Early word of the planned change had drawn protests from conservationists, who said it could deplete already at-risk elephant populations. It also caused a social media firestorm, with opponents posting photos of President Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric, avid hunters, posing with dead wild animals.