The head of the wildlife department in the Maputo area, Elias Mapulasse, has said people are fearful for their lives due to lions in the region searching for food.
The lions are believed to be coming from the Kruger National Park, closer to the border with South Africa, and found their way into Mozambique because the border fence has been vandalized by poachers.
Mapulasse told APA in an interview in Maputo on Wednesday that at least six lions on the loose have so far killed and devoured ten heads of cattle.
“The main reason behind the presence of these animals in that region has to do with the lack of the fence, which used to be there on the border with the Kruger National Park. The fence has not been there for quite some time. This allows wild animals from South Africa to freely
cross the border into Mozambique, at any time, with no obstacle.
“Depending on the circulation of wild herbivorous animals, the lions go everywhere in
search of food. When they arrive in Mozambique and they find, instead, heads of cattle – easy to kill and eat - they attack the cattle, even in their enclosures”.
Mapulasse urged residents to "exercise extra caution" as the hunt for the animals was underway.
Kruger Park, which borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and nearly the size of Belgium, is home to about 1,500 lions. The wild animals sometimes slip past the barrier fences, especially during the dry winter season.