KEETMANSHOOP: A goat farmer in the Vergenoeg area of the Karas Region says he has lost more than 14 goat offspring from the jaws of a leopard since last year.
Vergenoeg is situated some 73 kilometres north-east of Keetmanshoop.
Festus Majavero told Nampa on Tuesday that last week alone, four kids from his kraal were killed by a leopard on different days.
The farmer said the wild cat finished eating the carcasses of three kids, while the fourth carcass was left halfway.
All kids were killed while grazing in the bushes near their kraal.
“It has been killing my offspring since last year. I lost more than 10 last year alone,” he said dejectedly.
It is not only Majavero whose kraal has been invaded, but one of his neighbours told him that he had lost two kids from the same beast this year.
“There are lots of farmers around here who complain of the leopard, and we have tried to hunt it, but we cannot find it,” he explained.
According to Majavero, this problem animal was reported to Nature Conservation officials in the area last year, but no assistance was rendered.
“We know that it is a leopard because children told us that they saw it feasting on a kid, and they ran away. Several times, we followed the tracks with dogs, but it went far into the thick bushes and we could thus not find it,” he continued.
In the meantime, the farmers are herding their animals to avoid being killed by the leopard.
Majavero says once he has enough petrol for his car, he plans to drive to Keetmanshoop and report the matter again to Nature Conservation officials.
A Senior Ranger in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in the southern regions, Joseph Isaacks, responded on Tuesday that he is not aware of such complaints.
However, he explained that the procedure is that once a wild animal has killed a domestic animal or poses a danger to humans, it should be hunted and killed.
“Before killing the animal, affected farmers have to notify Nature Conservation about the damage caused within 10 days. Thereafter, the ministry will grant the right to kill the animal, based on proof provided,” the ranger advised.