A lion attack in the small hours of Tuesday has left a community in Matabeleland South living in terror after the lion fatally mauled a donkey and ox in two nights.
The lion killed a donkey near Marvel on the outskirts of Filabusi just after midnight on Tuesday. Later that day, it attacked and killed an ox close to the Pangani Training Center off Filabusi Road.
Following the attacks, parks rangers began searching for the lion but were unable to find it before retiring for the night. Residents suspect the lion may be a lioness accompanied by at least one cub, based on tracks seen near the dead ox.
Word of the predator has spread fear through the community, with several schools reporting high absenteeism as parents keep their children home out of fear. Senior teacher Mehluli Jamela warned Pansikwe Primary School parents of the danger, describing seeing the lion’s tracks himself.
The large feline was initially spotted in the Amazon area along the highway to Zvishavane. ZimParks spokesman Tinashe Farawo confirms rangers are actively searching for the “problem animal” but cautions locals to minimize nighttime movement and driving cattle in the dark. While shown photos of tracks seen at the attack scenes, Farawo claims they were likely made by a jackal, not a lion.
Residents, however, remain on edge. The lion’s nighttime attacks – including brazen kills so close to populated areas – have left the Filabusi community terrified as rangers hunt for the predator before it can claim human victims.