Eba Kandovazu

THE discovery of four lion and two hyena carcasses last weekend has led to the arrest of a 50-year-old man, who police say confessed to the poisoning of the animals.

Preliminary investigations found that the lions and hyenas killed the suspect’s seven goats before they were trapped and poisoned. Kunene Commander, Commissioner James Nderura, says a second suspect is yet to be arrested, adding that the four collared lions killed were worth N$260 000.

The suspect, who cannot be named until he appears in the Opuwo Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, reportedly confessed to the poisoning. Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry Spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, says the man was arrested yesterday afternoon.

He adds that on Friday, Ministry officials initially discovered two carcasses of collared male lions at Otjomapenda cattle post near Palmfontein in Ehirovipuka conservancy. The lions were buried with stones. This discovery was made after Ministry staff found out that the lion collars stopped sending signals and responses, prompting them to conduct a search, Muyunda says.

“The operation lead to this gruesome discovery of the carcasses at around 18h00. The Police were informed. A further search led to the discovery of two more lions and two hyenas on Saturday, in the same area. A search operation in the area is ongoing to see if there are more carcasses. The number of killed lions might increase,” Muyunda says.