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Zambia Kills Stray Lions That Prompted Move To Close Schools

Zambian authorities have killed two stray lions that caused fear in the western Zambezi region, prompting plans to close nearby schools.

The two lions, said to have escaped from the nearby Kafue National Park, killed 16 cows in a span of two weeks.

One resident told state broadcaster ZNBC some people were worried about leaving their homes.

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The authorities had announced a plan to close some schools in the area as a precaution.

“There is a real danger that pupils could be attacked on their way to school,” the district commissioner, Simeon Machayi, had been quoted as saying.

“To protect human life, some schools [in the area] will be closed as a precautionary measure,” he said.

While the lions had only attacked livestock, the authorities said they posed a risk to human life.

Local newspaper, the Lusaka Times said the most recent incident was an attack on an oxcart carrying a patient to Zambezi District Hospital on Tuesday.

There was said to have been a sense of relief when police and wildlife authorities moved in to address the matter on Wednesday.

“Our hearts now have calmed down,” the district commissioner said.

The state broadcaster on Wednesday showed carcasses of the big cats, and an excited big crowd that had gathered around.

A teacher said they were now happy to resume their lives without fear, saying pupils and teachers had been “so scared to make movements” in the area.

Conflicts between people and wildlife are common in the country, especially among communities living near parks and wildlife reserves.

The situation has been exacerbated by a drought which has reduced the source of food for both people and animals.


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