Tanzania has been compelled to deploy helicopters to track a coalition of five lions that have been wreaking havoc around several villages in the Southern Highlands.
The five renegade wild cats are reported to have ventured away from their natural habitat inside the Ruaha National Park and entered into human residential precincts surrounding the reserve.
For over a week now, the lions have been attacking, killing and feeding on livestock, especially cattle belonging to the villagers.
The marauding cats have caused the authorities to announce night curfew in local villages.
The Management of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) led by the Commissioner of Conservation, William Mwakilema has set up camp in the area, supervising the ongoing operation to track the stray lions that are causing fear and trepidation among local residents.
So far, the vagrant lions have wandered some 70 kilometers away from the park, cutting across villages and leaving dead livestock on their bloody trails.
“The lions have been moving really fast, they were first seen in villages located within 25 kilometers from Ruaha but now the latest reports say they have trekked more than 75 kilometers and counting,” stated the Commissioner of Conservation, William Mwakilema.
According to the commissioner, the wild cats have already crossed the main tarmac road connecting Mbeya, Iringa and Morogoro and were heading towards other precincts far away.
A team of 17 rangers from the Tanzania Wildlife Authority, Anti-Poaching Units and Tanzania National Parks are already on the task to trace, track and possibly capture the five lions to be restored back into conservancy.
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) at Manyara Ranch in Arusha has also been contacted for the provision of sniffer dogs.
In addition a helicopter is already combing over the remote wilderness to trace the lions, in addition to several ranger trucks.
Reports from the Iringa Regional Commissioner indicate that the lions have killed more than 33 livestock including 25 cattle, five goats, three pigs and innumerable poultry.