Home News Outcry over increasing cases of wildlife attacks on Botswana farms

Outcry over increasing cases of wildlife attacks on Botswana farms

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Cases of wildlife attacks on farmers and their livestock in Botswana could increase as the government struggles to maintain fences that control the movement of dangerous wild animals in wildlife management areas.

Some farmers raised fears that cases of wildlife attacks could rise, following an increase in the number of dangerous wildlife species found on agricultural land. A commercial farmer in the northern part of Botswana, Tshepo Monei, said farmers in areas with a high number of dangerous wild animals were exposed to life-threatening attacks.

“Fences that control the movement of wildlife have fallen into disrepair due to lack of maintenance, and this allows wildlife to move onto agricultural land. As government fails to maintain the fences, we’re highly likely to experience many cases of wildlife damaging crops and killing farmers and livestock,” said Monei.

In addition, Monei said that no efforts had been made to maintain the fences since they started deteriorating in 2009. “We’ve seen escalating numbers of dangerous animals such as elephants, leopards, buffaloes and lions in agricultural areas, and there has been an outcry regarding increasing cases of wildlife attacks on farms. In addition to livestock predation and damage to crops, it has also resulted in injuries and loss of life for some farmers,” explained Monei.

He said that a recent study by the Botswana Institute of Development and Policy Analysis had shown that more than 50 farmers had been killed by wildlife and 80 injured since the increase in wildlife movement on agricultural land.

In the study, researcher Israel Blackie said farmers in Botswana were susceptible to dangerous encounters with wild animals, as the country had a large population of elephants, mostly found in the Okavango Delta and Chobe district in the northern part of the country.