A LOCAL farmer near Bergsig in the Torra Conservancy suffered huge losses after a pride of lions broke through a kraal and killed 25 goats on Saturday night.
The communal farmer, Euphrasius Dawids, told The Namibian that he estimates the loss at around N$40 000.
Dawids said the lions killed prized rams, ewes and kids. Some goat carcasses were eaten completely, while others were partially eaten by the lions.
The cats reportedly fled into the bush once the humans approached.
The chairperson of the Palmwag Concession in the Kunene region, Tommy Adams, said since measures were introduced to address human-wildlife conflict in Kunene's conservancies, there has been a major decrease in lion attacks on communal farmers' livestock.
Palmwag comprises the Torra, Sesfontein and Ananbeb conservancies, which have had their fair share of livestock losses to marauding lions in 2017 and 2018. Since then, though, 'lion-proof' kraals have resulted in a major decrease in these attacks.
Adams said Saturday's killing of 25 goats was the first major incident in over a year in the area.
"The mitigation measures are showing results, and although once in a while a cow is killed by lions, we have not had such mass casualties in over a year," he told The Namibian.
Adams said what aggravates the situation is the drought. The last count in June revealed a 40% decrease in game in Palmwag since June last year.
"Obviously, this affects the lions, which will cause them to become desperate if they are hungry. We feel for them too, so these are difficult times for all of us," he added.
Adams stated that the conservancies' motto was "conserve to live" and therefore there was the understanding that lions played an important role in tourism and the local economy.
"We are not interested in poisoning and shooting the prides. They are important to us, but it is difficult when there are incidents like what happened to Dawids. That is why the government should allow the conservancy to shoot one lion at least. This should compensate for such massive livestock killings," he continued.
According to him, there were about three prides in the area, comprising about 20 lions. The attack on Saturday was done by about six cats.
Attempts to get comment from the environment ministry's public relations officer, Romeo Muyunda, have not been successful, and he has not responded to questions sent to him.