The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has successfully captured and released back safely into Lochniver National Park a female buffalo that had recently strayed into the farming community of Monze district.
ZAWA Communications and Public Relations Officer Mwila Muliyunda disclosed in a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka today that the authority last week received a report from a farm owner identified as Terry Johns that a buffalo had left the park and mingled with herds of his cattle.
Mrs. Muliyunda said there was fear that the named buffalo would cause disease to the cattle and possible human wildlife conflict.
She said ZAWA immediately sent officers to the area who, after three hours of intensive searching spotted the animal in the thicket of the farm.
“The officers darted the buffalo, blindfolded it and carried it back to the park where the immobilising drug was reversed for it to awaken and join a herd of other buffaloes,” Mrs. Muliyunda said.
She said ZAWA’s ability to successfully employ the darting method that ensures that the animal is taken back into the park alive as opposed to instances where control is done by killing, demonstrates the authority’s commitment to conservation efforts.
The ZAWA Public Relations Officer also commended the community and in particular Mr. Johns, who did not only report the matter to ZAWA in time to save the buffalo from being poached or causing human wildlife conflicts, but also assisted in its translocation.
She further disclosed that the ZAWA team under the leadership of Head of Veterinary Dr. David Squarre is also in Chiawa, to capture lions that were reported to have strayed from Lower Zambezi national park.
Mrs. Muliyunda said the team will use the same darting control method to ensure the animals are released back into the park alive and safe.