BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BABOONS are terrorising patients at Binga District Hospital stealing their food, vandalising property and causing sleepless nights to expecting mothers as they scrounge for food.
In August last year, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) had to respond to the baboon menace by installing a trap cage at the hospital.
As much as 12 baboons were trapped and killed, bringing temporary relief to the patients.
The Binga District Residents Association (BIDRA) appealed to ZimParks to mount trap cages to trap the baboons, which have returned with a vengeance.
“They are stealing food from expecting mothers, vandalising property and causing a nuisance.
“We appeal to ZimParks to mount a trap cages like they did last year to deal with the troublesome animals,” said Moffat Mutale, the BIDRA secretary-general.
Trap cages are designed and built for a lifetime of service. A patented release and locking mechanism ensures that the trapped animal does not injure itself or escape.
Furthermore, non-target animals can be released unharmed, or translocated to another area as nature conservation authorities require.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo was not answering his mobile phone on Friday when contacted for comment.
The issue of problem animals is not new to Binga.
Last year, BIDRA was forced to petition ZimParks to set up a fund to compensate villagers for losses resulting from human-animal conflict.
Binga bears the brunt of human-wildlife conflict cases owing to the increase in the wildlife population with reports showing that seven people were killed by wildlife in the district in 2018.
The increase in wildlife population has been blamed on, among others, a ban on culling following the promulgation of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) which imposed a global ban on trade in ivory.
Currently, the available methods to control animals is through hunts and problem animal control which the BIDRA argued have proved not to be effective in the process increasing the vulnerability of villagers, their property and livestock.