The massive search for a lion prowling around Dundee has come to a tragic end on Sunday, May 17.
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube explained that she received a report from Ezemvelo Wildlife, that the lion was killed by a farmer in Dundee.
“Although, I am still awaiting a full report, I can confirm that this lion has been terrorising the community and killing the livestock since February this year.”
She adds that while the search for the lion has been ongoing for months, killing it has always been the last option.
Furthermore, she explains rural communities already under the strain of poverty, had to bear the brunt of the carnivore destroying any possible reserves they had.
“The seriousness of this matter prompted the department, through Ezemvelo Wildlife to conduct an investigation to determine whether it was necessary to issue a permit to take out the predator,” explained MEC Dube-Ncube.
A permit for depredation purpose was issued to the local farmer, whose livestock was also attacked by the lion.
The farmer then shot and killed the lion on May 17, as it posed a danger to the community and livestock.
“Once again, I wish to assure the farming community, traditional leaders, leaders of society and local communities that their safety and the protection of their livestock is our major priority. We are encouraged by their co-operation. We value the support from the members Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental affairs. They continue to guide the department on matters of conservation,” MEC Dube-Ncube explained.
Furthermore, MEC Dube-Ncube emphasises that her department believes that nature conservation is critical. She says this is as it provides a way to confront unemployment, poverty and inequality created by COVID-19.
“We wish to report that the staff from Ezemvelo together with Peace Parks Foundation and the National Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries are working hard to install a number of technologies in the Hluhluwe – iMfolozi Park. This has been part of a long-term strategy aimed at protecting wild animals.”
Regarding the issue of poaching, MEC Dube-Ncube says the department has decided to invest in Smart Park connectivity. As well as the integration of systems to ensure early detection and rapid response.
One of the key instruments apparently being used is the installation of infrared trap cameras. These cameras are linked directly to the Parks Operational Centre.
“These cameras using artificial intelligence (AI) identify people and send an immediate alert to the Operations Centre who then rapidly alerts and activates the relevant Reaction Units and associated resources,” says MEC Dube-Ncube.
Well done to the department for its role in attempting to minimise poaching.