Wildlife department addressing animal-human conflicts

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is putting in place various measures to address human-animal conflict in the country.

Department Acting Director, Andrew Chomba, said the measures will prevent wild animals from entering people’s fields to eat crops and livestock.

Mr Choma said the department is using chili blaster and electric shock cables to keep wild animals away from people’s crop fields.

He explained that it is important for the department to provide protection for both wildlife and human life.

He added that DNPW is meanwhile carrying out sensitising communities on how to avoid conflicts with wild animals and protect their crop fields.

Mr Choma told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that human-animal conflict still remains a challenge for the department as the number of cases keeps on increasing.

“There are various ways to prevent loss of livestock and crops which we are trying to employ. We have seen the use of chili blasters by our partners in Luangwa national park,” he said.

Mr Chomba also noted that human-animal conflict cannot be completely dealt with immediately as the number of wild animals in the country keeps on increasing.

Meanwhile, Acting World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Programme Manager, Teddy Mukula, attributed the conflict between humans and animals to the increasing animal population and unplanned human settlements.

Mr Mukula said people who settle near animal habitats should be aware that some animals wander a lot in search of food.

He added that the lasting solution to the problem is educating the public on human behaviour since animals cannot reason the way people do.