Bikita gets sport hunting license
Bikita (New Ziana) -The Bikita Rural District Council has been granted a hunting licence that will see locals who have borne the brunt of human-wildlife conflict derive some benefit from the sustainable harvesting of the wild animals.
Bikita is one of the seven districts in Masvingo province.
It borders with Gutu, Zaka, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Buhera and Mwenezi districts and is located about 80 kilometres east of Masvingo town.
Bikita RDC chief executive Peter Chibi confirmed that the local authority had been granted a hunting permit and quarter of wild animals to hunt.
A hunting quarter is the specific number of animals and species that the local authority can hunt per year.
“What we did following the human-wildlife conflict in Bikita, we applied for sport hunting licence which means that animals that are mature that stray into the community will be shot as trophies,” he said.
“The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authorities advised us to get an appropriate authority which then allowed us to get an annual quarter and when the appropriate authority was granted, we were given a quarter in 2021 which consists of two elephants and other animals we are going to hunt,” he added.
Chibi said the long term solution to the human-wildlife conflict in Bikita was the sustainable utilization of the wild animals to benefit the local community in various aspects such as health and education.
“The communities may also expand their business like community gardens and irrigation schemes because it is a long term solution to the human-wildlife conflict which will also reduce the vulnerability of their crops and livestock as has been happening before,” he said.
He said the local authority was this year eyeing about US$50 000 from the wildlife hunting.
The eastern parts of the district which border the Devuli Ranch and some conservancies have witnessed many incidents of human-wildlife conflict that have seen communities lose lives, their livestock and crops to elephants, buffaloes, lions, hyenas and other predators.