Namibia: Farmers Lock Up Livestock Indoors Amid Lion Fears

Farmers at the Rende Woud settlement near Khorixas have locked up their livestock in their houses to safeguard them against three lions roaming in the area.

Asser Bezuidenhout, whose mother resides at Rende Woud, told The Namibian that three lions are roaming around the farm Rende Woud. "People are afraid, they cannot let their livestock graze today (Tuesday) in the riverbed, as lions are in the vicinity," Bezuidenhout said.

The lions have killed a dog at the farm.

Farmers can only graze their livestock in the riverbed, as the farm has been hit by drought since last year, according to Bezuidenhout.

"We are left with a few livestock after we lost most of them to drought. We cannot lose more, those they ( livestock) are inside the houses," said concerned Bezuidenhout, who works at the national heritage site at Twyfelfontein, a few kilometres from Rende Woud, emphasised.

Bezuidenhout said only his 77-year-old mother and children are at the farm.

"The lions should be taken somewhere else. We are suffering from drought already," Bezuidenhout pleaded.

Bezuidenhout told The Namibian he texted Thomas Shapwa, an official at the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry, alerting him about the lions at the farm. However, Shapwa told him the ministry's Khorixas office is waiting for fuel from the head office to attend the matter of the lions at Rende Woud.

Romeo Muyunda, the spokesperson for the environment ministry told The Namibian, "The lion situation is being attended to. Officials were sent to investigate this morning and recommend the best solution to the problem."

The livestock were still locked up in the houses on Tuesday afternoon.

Last April, a leopard attacked and mauled a livestock herder, Calvin Katjivere, while he was taking his employer's goats into the veld. Another herder, who came to Katjivere's rescue, was also attacked but he managed to kill the leopard with a spear.

The herders have not received any assistance from the ministry. However, Muyundu told The Namibian that the claims are still being processed.

Rende Woud is in the Doro !Nawas conservancy, one of the tourism-rich areas that are besieged by frequent attacks on livestock by predators.

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