WINDHOEK, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) has become frequent over recent weeks in Namibia and lions are at the short end of the stick, as up to 25 lions have died so far this year, an official said Monday.
Namibia's Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta on Monday at a press briefing addressing HWC said as a result of human population growth, wildlife population growth, unplanned agricultural activities and expansion of agricultural, human encroachment on previously wild and un-inhabited areas has been on the rise.
"As a result of the incidents of human-lion conflict around the Etosha National Park, eight lions were killed in the Omusati region, of which six were killed by members of the communities while two were killed by the Ministry officials after being declared as problem-causing animals," he said.
According to Shifeta, in the Oshana region, one lion was killed by community members while three other were destroyed by Ministry officials as they again were deemed problem animals.
Furthermore he said in the Kunene region 13 lions have been killed, with the bulk of the killings occurring at the hands of farmers and the community.
Shifeta said that his ministry has currently put in place measures that endeavor to avoid the conflict. These measures include the prevention, protection and mitigation strategies, that attempt to reduce the level of impact and lessen the problem.
"It is a complex and serious problem that if not addressed appropriately with the necessary understanding, can harm if not destroy conservation efforts and tourism benefits for the country," he added.
According to Shifeta the estimate population for lions the country is pegged at 700 with main concentration of 430 in the Etosha National Park and 120 in the Kunene and parts of the Erongo region.