Rampaging Lions Wreak Havoc in Cameroon’s Centre Region
The Member of Parliament from the Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation (PCRN), Cabral Libii has taken the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to task over the management of four lions that have been on the rampage in the Mbam and Kim Division of the Center region.
As law makers debated a bill to authorize the President of the Republic to proceed to the adhesion of Cameroon to the Agreement on the conservation of gorillas and their habitats, Cabral Libii used the occasion to question Minister Jules Doret Ndongo on government’s management of four lions that have been causing mayhem to the populations of the Mbam and Kim.
“We were all frightened when we learned that two lions at first, then 4 lions were wandering in Mbam and Kim. We were not far from a drama in Yoko, Ngambe Tikar and Ntui. Even to know the number of wandering lions it was necessary to bring a German expert at an exorbitant cost. We then discovered that Cameroon did not even have a tracker. It is a regular profession in the field. This is the place to ask you, Mr. Minister. I especially want to know what is done so that it does not happen again. Especially since this question brings up to date, the question of the boundaries between the habitat of protected species and the habitat of humans,” Libii questioned.
Hon. Cabral Libii, Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation
Cameroon had brought in Dr. Hans Bauer, a German Lion expert to help manage the lions.
The Minister responded by indicating that Africa has very few “lion experts” and therefore the government had to resort to a German expert.
“The local populations had contacted the relevant Forestry Ministry services to report the presence of felines in this division. With a view to translocating them in the Bénoué complex from where we thought they had left, we actually brought in a Dutch expert. Because to anaesthetize a lion in its natural environment, that is to say while it is mobile, you must be the holder of a special permit which very few hold in Africa " Mr. Ndongo said.
He revealed that it was difficult to capture the lions because they were extremely mobile, with the rainy season compounding the situation.
"It was found that there were two male lions and an attempt at translocation unfortunately failed. This can happen due to the heavy rains and the vegetation which was starting to grow back. It must be said that this operation took place in July of last year”.
The inability to translocate the two lions was not the only failure recorded by the government. The latter also managed to lose track of the cats.
"On this point, the most accurate information indicates that the last attack by the lions occurred on January 15, 2020. Two oxen were attacked ... the last appearance was in the vicinity of Mpem and Djim national park ... We think today that either the lions have gone up to the North, on the side of the Benoué or Faro Parks or else they will adapt to this new environment," the Minister said.
The Minister of Territorial Administration has been given the task to compensate breeders whose animals were attacked by the felines.