Richard Muponde Sunday News Correspondent—
A GRANNY in her late 60s was killed and devoured by a lion in the early hours of yesterday in Woodlands resettlement area, a few kilometres outside Victoria Falls, officials have confirmed. The woman was part of a group of villagers who had gathered to guard a cow carcas that had been killed by a pride of lions in the area. Officials said after the pride killed the cow, villagers teamed up to scare the lions and recover the meat.
However, one of the female lions reportedly returned and launched an attack on the villagers killing the granny instantly before feeding on her. The incident happened yesterday at about 2am.
Efforts to get a comment from Zimparks public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo were however, fruitless. Officer Commanding Victoria Falls police Chief Superintendent Jairos Chiona could also not be reached for comment, but Hwange Rural District Council deputy chairperson Mr Matthew Muleya whose local authority has jurisdiction over the resettlement area confirmed the incident to Sunday News and identified the woman as a Mrs Tshuma.
“It’s true that an elderly woman from Woodlands resettlement area was attacked and killed by a female lion in the early hours of today (Saturday) — around 2am. What happened is that a pride of lions killed a cow and villagers, as the norm here, teamed up to scare the lions away so that they recover the meat. They managed to scare away the pride of lions and took possession of the carcass,” said Cde Muleya.
“The villagers took guard of the carcass with the intention of removing the meat at sunrise. The granny was part of the villagers who were guarding the meat. However, unbeknown to them was that the oldest female lion of the pride was sneaking on them. It then pounced on the villagers. Most of them managed to escape but the granny who was seated could not stand up and run, resulting in her being attacked and killed on the spot,” added Cde Muleya.
He said after killing her, instead of eating the cow the lioness started feasting on the granny’s body from the legs up to the chest.
“We had to send our rangers to the scene who arrived and found the lioness still feeding on her body and killed it. We had to skin the lion so that we recover some body parts, which it had consumed, for burial,” he said.
Mr Muleya said the granny was not the owner of the killed beast but was helping her neighbour who also escaped the attack.
Mrs Tshuma was reportedly buried yesterday afternoon, a few hours after her demise in the resettlement area because of the condition of her remains.