STAFF members of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism decided to kill a lioness in the Namutoni camp of the Etosha National Park a week ago, because a veterinarian was not at hand and they were trying to avoid a possible attack on tourists, the ministry claims.
The lioness entered the Namutoni camp through a small hole that warthogs had dug under the fence around the camp, after someone employed in the camp had removed meat from a giraffe that the lioness had killed next to the fence the previous day, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Simeon Negumbo, said in a press statement issued yesterday.
The killing of the lioness in Namibia's flagship wildlife conservation area reportedly left tourists at Namutoni shocked and horrified.
According to Negumbo, a fresh and intact giraffe carcass was found next to the camp fence at Namutoni on Thursday last week. It was discovered later that someone - reportedly a staff member employed at Namutoni - had removed some of the meat from the carcass, and an investigation was launched by the ministry and the police.
Lion tracks were observed in the camp the next day, and a lioness was then found along the camp fence.
“In [the] absence of a veterinarian in the area, our staff members had to act quickly to avoid possible attacks on people, particularly tourists, and shot the lioness,” Negumbo stated.
He said the ministry and the police are continuing with an investigation into the incident.