Hunter hired to track leopard in KZN

A professional hunter has been hired to track down a leopard on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Wednesday.

The leopard was spotted in Mvutshini early in June after it had attacked and killed four goats. It was believed to have escaped from the Hluhluwe Reserve.

”We don’t no know where it is at this stage,” Ezemvelo spokesperson Maureen Zimu said.

”We have hired a hunter with sniffer dogs to trace the leopard. Unfortunately the dogs need fresh blood to sniff out the culprit leopard,” she explained.

By fresh blood she meant ”an animal that the leopard had killed recently”.

Ezemvelo said their aim was not to kill the leopard but to move it to a reserve.

Animal Rights Africa spokesperson Steve Smith, however, raised questions about the missing leopard.

”We want to know where it is and what is being done to capture it. We don’t want to see the animal being killed”.

Smith also raised questions about the death of the province’s wandering hippo Nkululeko.

The hippo was shot on Tuesday morning by eThekwini municipality and Ezemvelo Wildlife officials. It was suspected that Nkululeko may have killed a man at the weekend, but this had not been confirmed.

”We want to know the results of the man’s post mortem,” said Smit.

eThekwini’s Christo Swart said the hippo was buried at a landfill site. Swart said he had not yet received the man’s post-mortem results from the police.

”We are confident of our information and that what we did was the right thing,” he said of the decision to kill the hippo.

Zimu, meanwhile, said Ezemvelo could not comment on the hippo incident as it was ”now a legal matter”.

Swart said that no charges had been brought against the municipality over Nkululeko’s death.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu was not immediately available to provide the results of the post mortem, conducted at the Phoenix mortuary on Tuesday afternoon. – Sapa

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