How lion attack survivor cheated death

Efano: La yandjwa OMULUMENHU A PONOKELWA KONGHOSHI … Ouministili womidingonoko, omifitu nomatalelepo Etivali owa dipaya onghoshi imwe yomeenghoshi mbali odo da kala nokweendaenda koshitopolwa shaKatima Mulilo konima eshi kwa li ya ponokela Likando Mambena. Eenghoshi edi mbali okwa li da kala nokumonika kovakalimo voChefuzwe, Cowboy noDaily. Omupopiliko wouministili, Romeo Muyunda, okwa ti eenghoshi oda dipaya noimuna.

Like many villagers at Chefuzwe, Likando Mambena (44) was curious to see the lions that were being traced by conservation officials in the area.

He followed them from a distance without ever thinking he would be attacked.

Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism officials have been hot on the trail of two lions which have been terrorising the communities on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo since last week.

The male and female big cats, which are suspected to have escaped from Chobe National Park in Botswana, were also spotted at the Cowboy and Daily locations.

Before attacking Mambena on Monday, the two lions also killed several livestock.

Speaking to The Namibian at Katima Mulilo District Hospital yesterday, Mambena said he was tired and went back to his village at around 12h30, since the lions were still not found.

As he walked away from the conservation officials and a crowd of onlookers, he heard a roaring lion behind him, he said.

“It was a bushy area, and I could not really see the lion. I only heard it roaring behind me, and within seconds, it was on top of me, biting my hand.

“I decided not to run or turn around, because it could have injured me badly.

“All I did was shout to the conservation officials to shoot it. Fortunately, for me, they were very fast to respond, and they shot the lion while it was attacking me. I did not really feel anything when it was attacking me; I only realised later that my hand was injured as I saw my blood running.

“It also hurt my right thigh with its claws. I am truly thankful to God that I survived this attack with only a broken arm,” he said.
Mambena said he is not in too much pain, although he was referred to Windhoek for further treatment.

“I hope to have a speedy recovery, because I have a family to take care of – especially my two boys,” he said.

Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Toursim spokesperson Romeo Muyunda yesterday said the first sighting of the two lions was reported in the Sikanjabuka area last week, which is when consservation officials started tracing them.

He said the trail led them to the Chefuzwe area, where Mambena was attacked.

“The female lion escaped in the process of the officials shooting the male lion to save Mambena’s life and is still at large. We had to put down the male lion, because it was a problem-causing animal, as stipulated in our policies.

“We are still busy tracking the female lion, and we hope to capture it alive to take it to one of the parks in the region,” he said.

As far as the carcass of the male lion is concerned, Muyunda said that the ministry has disposed of it after skinning it.

He said the ministry would keep the skin, claws, and skull.

“We have taken those parts into our custody in order to avoid them ending up on the wildlife product black market, “ he said.

Muyunda urged members of the public to steer clear of operations where dangerous wild animals are being traced.

He said the public should also be on high alert as the female lion is still at large and they should report any sighting immediately.

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