Maputo — Wild animals killed at least 156 people between 2005 and 2013 in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, according to the provincial governor, Abdul Razak.
Razak gave the figure on Friday, at an extraordinary session of the provincial government, chaired by President Armando Guebuza, in Namuno district, held as part of Guebuza's “open and inclusive presidency” in Cabo Delgado.
Razak lamented that deaths are continuing despite the provincial government's attempt to prevent or mitigate clashes between human beings and wild animals. One of the measures taken has been simply to kill “problem animals”.
With the involvement of community hunters and safari companies, Razak said, 201 animals have been killed - 134 elephants, 29 crocodiles, 16 lions, seven buffaloes, nine hippopotamus, three hyenas and three leopards.
Other measures taken include traditional techniques of driving animals away by drumming or by making a loud noise with tin cans, the use of fireworks to scare animals off, and opening fields in blocks so as to make them less vulnerable to invasion by elephants.
Razak added that the number of forestry and wild life wardens in Cabo Delgado has risen from 31 in 2005, to 131 in 2013. Over the same period 26.6 million meticais (about 872,000 US dollars) was allocated to 247 natural resource management committees.
This sum was used to build classrooms and places of worship, as well as for various agro-processing and other income generating projects.