In a case of human wildlife conflict, residents in the small town of Triangle are living in fear of being attacked by wild animals after a rogue stray lion that had killed seven cattle in nearby villages strayed into the small sugarcane town’s CBD.

The lion later disappeared.

National Parks game ranchers tracked the lion’s spoor into a hill behind Bank ABC at the Duly’s Shopping Center a week ago and since then the lion could not be found.

Tongaat Hullet, the company that runs Zimbabwe’s largest sugarcane operations had to hire a professional hunter who then tracked the lion and killed it at plot 1801 in section 26 Triangle on Monday thereby bringing a sigh of relief to fear stricken residents and villagers.

Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development to The Mirror.

“The lion which had killed at least 7 cattle has been eliminated,” said Farawo.

“The lion was first identified in Section 8 Triangle on January 15 when game rangers tracked its spoor that vanished in the hill behind Bank ABC at Dulys shopping complex.

“The lion was tracked yesterday and killed by a professional hunter hired by Tongaat Hulett through the help of Zimparks,” said a source.

Farawo said it was Zimparks’ duty to safeguard villagers from stray animals.

Meanwhile, there is general fear among villagers, who think similar incidents might happen again.

Cases of stray wild animals are common in the country, especially near game parks.

Few days ago, a crocodile caused a stir when it waded in the corridors at Chiredzi District Hospital.

It was believed that the reptile may have strayed from the nearby Chiredzi River.

The reptile later rested in a storm drain, it did not attack anyone and it was finally captured and translocated by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks).

Masvingo Mirror/ Zwnews