People in Senga Hill and Mbala in Northern Province are living in fear after a stray lion was spotted in the two districts.
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Senior Warden for Northern Province, Lackson Ng’andu has confirmed to ZANIS that the lion was first spotted last month in Mbala near the police station heading to Lake Chila.
Mr Nga’ndu explained that the lion moved through Penza farm to Saise Farm where it killed a donkey before crossing the Mbala-Nakonde road to Kavumbo area in Senga Hill district, where it also killed a goat and ate the intestines.
He disclosed that officers from the Department of National Parks in Mpulungu district who rushed to the area to assess the carcass confirmed that the animals were killed by the lion.
Mr Ng’andu said officers also spotted the foot prints of the lion in a maize field in Kaponda area in Kavumbo village before it headed South to Vundoka area.
“We want to appeal to people in Mbala and Senga Hill to be security conscious, protect their livestock and ensure they move in groups, especially in the night, to avoid being attacked by the beast,” he said.
He thanked the Chaila family of Saise farm for partnering with the department to provide logistics for the officers who rushed to the area.
“Our officers temporarily withdrew on 6th April and are expected to get back as soon as possible as logistical arrangements are concluded so that they can camp in the area to ensure the beast is caged,” he said.
Mr Ng’ andu said the department is yet to establish where the lion came from and has since appealed to residents to report to the officers in case it is spotted.
And Henry Sichula of Kavumbo appealed to government to deploy more officers to kill the lion so that people can move freely.
“As you may be aware, our main stay is farming but because of the loose lions, we are unable to go in the fields and our women are scared to go and fetch water for fear of being attacked,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senga District Commissioner, Jestus Sikazwe said government is committed to ensuring the lions are killed to protect people and livestock in the area.
Mr Sikazwe appealed to residents to remain calm and cooperate with the officers from the Department of National Parks to kill the lion that have been terrorising them.