Panic, as stray lions remain elusive

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 13 January 2015   |   By Shingirai Madondo

Panic waves continue to spread through Francistown as the elusive stray lions’ spoor have been now sighted at a number of locations dotted across the second city, inching closer to the people’s homesteads.

Superintendent Motsholathebe Mothibi of Kutlwano Police Station here in Francistown confirmed that the alleged elusive lions have been sighted in a number of residential locations around the city.
Mothibi said there are reports suggesting the big cats’ spoors were now spotted at additional areas like Block 8 and Gerald Estates. The spoors were first spotted at a bush area near Donga Extension location near Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Donga barracks.
First seen almost a fortnight ago at a Donga Extension bush, the terrified residents of the second city have been claiming to have seen it at different locations across the city – a development that has thrown residents in a panic mode.
“Almost everyone is now claiming to have seen the spoors of the alleged stray lions. We have received reports from Monarch and other locations in the city,” confirmed Mothibi when contacted for a comment.
Mothibi said members of the law enforcement agency are working with officers from the Department of Wildlife in trying to capture the elusive big cat, believed to be roaming around with two cubs.
The lioness together with the two cubs have been eluded a search team comprising of wildlife wardens, police officers and members of the BDF in conjunction with other government departments.
“We want to reiterate that the alleged stray lions are yet to be captured. Reports reaching the police are that the stray lions’ spoor is now being spotted at a number of locations in the city,” he said.
That being the case, Mothibi urged members of the public to report immediately if they happen to see the animals. He also urged members of the community to be vigilant at all times saying lions are usually dangerous towards human beings.
“Police are available 24 hours a day, so members of the public must be free to come to or call us,” said the police boss.       
According to Mothibi, the police call comes after the tracking team revealed that they had received numerous panic calls from members of the public that had turned out to be false alarms.
This is not the first time a wild animal has been found roaming in the city of Francistown. Early last year, an elephant was seen roaming at Monarch Farms, some 15km west of Francistown searching for water.

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