By Matabeleland North Correspondent
IN A similar fashion to the way Cecil the Lion was baited and killed in July 2015 by American dentist Walter Palmer, a local professional hunter on Tuesday shot and killed a lion that had terrorised the community killing cattle and goats since the start of the year.
While Cecil the Lion, which made global headlines in 2015, was not a problem animal, the Tuesday killing was triggered by that the big cat, together with two others still at large, had troubled Binga villagers.
In 2015, Palmer was assisted by a local professional hunter Theodor Albert Christian Bronkhorst as he shot the collared lion with a bow and arrow before finishing it off with a gun after luring it out of its protected area with another animal’s carcass.
Bronkhorst was a year later found not guilty of killing a protected animal after a long court battle.
On Tuesday Lodzi Hunters’ professional hunter Thys de Vries became a hero in Binga when he gunned down a male lion that had become a menace to the community.
Thys, son to well-known wildlife conservation and safari hunter Buck De Vries, has, since April been tracking the male lion in the company of rangers from Zimbabwe National Parks (Zimparks) and Tuesday managed to put it down after luring itt.
The Vries family owns Lodzi Hunters Zimbabwe which operates in Tsholotsho and Lusulu in Binga.
The lion is one of the three big cats that had been giving villagers under Chief Sikalenge area just outside Binga centre, a tough time.
Vries and the rangers baited it around 6 pm with the lion showing up at 8 pm and Vries shot it with one bullet some five minutes later.
Chief Sikalenge said villagers were relieved although two other lions were still on the loose.
“The rangers killed a male lion last night at Musenampongo after it had caused a lot of havoc. People are a bit relieved but they want the other two to be killed,” said Chief Sikalenge.
The Zimparks confirmed the hunt was on for the other two lions.
Acting Binga District Development Coordinator said his office had received reports about the problem lions in Donga, Chilia and Musenampongo areas, all under Chief Sikalenge.