Citizens and visitors in Kariba, a resort town in Northern Zimbabwe, are being asked to take extra precautions about where they walk, as rogue lions have already killed two people near the suburb.
Zimbabwe’s National Parks and Wildlife Authority said a lion attacked a couple on Tuesday. The man was able to get away from the large cat, but the woman accompanying him was mauled to death yet not devoured. Additionally, a second corpse was found nearby, which was almost entirely eaten, and only an arm and some other bodily scraps remained.
Officials are handing out fliers and alerting townspeople over loudspeakers about the increased dangers of lion attacks. They are especially warning people to stay away from the banks of Lake Kariba, a popular hydroelectric dam many use for recreation, and to avoid walking at night or crossing through thickets were lions can easily hide.
Animal attacks in the urban area are rare. However, in recent years several people walking home from taverns and bars late at night were killed by roaming elephants. With that in mind, the wildlife authority also warned “beer drinkers to avoid moving at night on foot,” and, in reference to the various religious groups in the area, they said to “stop going for secretive prayers in thick vegetation.”
Rangers believe two or more lions that possibly escaped from a nearby game reserve are the culprits. They are still in pursuit of the animals and have sent in professional hunters with skills in tracking and shooting lions. If the cats are found, it is expected the hunters will kill them, as it’s believed once a lion eats a human it will continue to make people its prey.
One ranger was injured during the hunt after the tracking team accidently shot him.