Leopard hunter to face legal action

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The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) is planning to file a case against the owner of Farm Okamiparara in the Otjiwarongo district  for allegedly hunting and killing a stray leopard in December last year.MET Spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, said that the matter only came to the Ministry’s attention after a video of the barbaric act last week started circulating on social media.“The Ministry understands that the leopard killed a number of livestock on farm Okamiparara and that the owner took it upon himself to set up a spring trap on which the leopard was caught. Such a hunt was not sanctioned by the Ministry nor was the case of this leopard killing livestock reported to government for action or advice,” Muyunda stated.Muyunda further stated that his Ministry condemns illegal and unlawful killings of protected species in Namibia. He, however, noted that the Ministry has implemented measures to review the current National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict, adding that a wider stakeholder consultation was conducted.Human-Wildlife conflicts are currently on the increase in the country and six people have been reported dead as a result of wild animal attacks in the past two months.Minister of Environment, Pohamba Shifeta announced earlier this month during a National Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflicts Management that 46 cattle and nine goats have been killed by wild animals since January.He said that a total number of 545 cattle, 79 sheep, 291 goats and 15 donkeys were killed last year alone as a result of human-wildlife conflicts.This, he said, is because of the increased human population, as well as wildlife population growth, unplanned agricultural activities, expansion of agricultural and industrial activities.