by Dumisani Ncube
National Parks officials gunned down three buffalos in Bulilima District yesterday in a bid to drive them away from human settlements. Buffalos herd reportedly numbering over a 100, invaded Makhulela, Huwana, and Khame areas and have been roaming close to human settlements for the past three days.
Parks officials in the company of a veterinary doctor moved in to avert a crisis after local community members made a cry for help. The buffalos, which were visibly dehydrated, are in a desperate search for water as natural reservoirs in most areas have since dried.
The buffalos gunned down were in close proximity to households, one of them was shot as it was roaming around a granary.
According to sources, the veterinary doctor had challenges in draining samples from the Buffalo caucus due to extreme dehydration. Tests for Anthrax and other zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to domestic animals will be conducted.
Villagers who spoke to Habakkuk Trust raised fears of transmission of zoonotic diseases and the increased likelihood of human-wildlife conflict. The Buffalo invasion has ignited painful memories of an elephant invasion that claimed a life in 2018.
Competition for natural resources is increasingly becoming stiff with communities calling for lasting solutions to the issue. Habakkuk Trust is currently assisting communities in Bulilima to address the issue of Human-Wildlife conflict. Villagers commended Parks officials and Bulilima Rural District Council for the timely response.