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Ilanga Provincial Newspapers

Hyenas terrorise villagers


GWANDA NORTH – Villagers in Mtshazo area of Gwanda under Chief Khulumani Mathema are living in fear of hyenas, which have descended on villages scavenging for food.

The most affected areas are the mountainous Ward 6, 7 and 8 with donkeys and cattle being the main targets.

Villagers, who spoke to this reporter were worried that these predators could become desperate and attack people and other livestock.

There are also fears that the hyenas could also spread other diseases, such as rabies.

Mtshazo Village head, Bishop Ndlovu, appealed to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority to help them fight wild animals.

“These scary animals are causing sleepless nights and I am sure that they are straying from nearby mountains. Villagers are losing their livestock and we are worried that the animals will soon pounce on humans,” Ndlovu said.

National Parks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo, said they were yet to receive the report.

“From Matabeleland South the report we received and deployed our officers was that of Khwalu Irrigation Scheme in Beitbridge, where a herd of elephants destroyed two hectares of maize.

“However, as the responsible authority will wait for the report and investigate then act accordingly,” explained Farawo.

Sometime last week, villagers only wake up to see the carcass of a donkey that was killed and eaten by hyenas.

One villager, Bethod Ndlovu, said the remains of a donkey were found near an mtshwankela tree, closer to a mountain.

“I saw the remains of a donkey under the mtshwankela tree and around the area there was a spoor of a big hyena.

So, may those with missing donkeys go there and check,” suggested Ndlovu.

Kholwani Demu, another villager, said he saw two of the hyenas chasing cattle during the night.
“Last week I witnessed two hyenas chasing cattle near the rocks and one of the hyenas had a broken hind limb,” said Demu.

Village Head Ndlovu has suggested that villagers come together and make plans on how to save their animals from the predators.

“From last week these animals have been killing at least one donkey per night and if they fail to finish it they come back the following day. Besides donkeys, a calf was also mauled.

“Let us form patrol teams in order to safeguard our livestock,” suggested the Village Head Ndlovu.

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