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Inhabitants of Mavodze village, in Mozambique’s southern Gaza province, are accusing the managers of the Limpopo National Park (NLP) of introducing lions on the site to force the population to leave the park.
A press release from the Mozambican civil society information agency CIVILINFO released on Tuesday in Maputo reports that 500 heads of cattle belonging to the Mavodze families were devoured last year by lions and hyenas living in the NLP.
The Mavodze community accused the park’s managers of introducing lions, with the deliberate intention of forcing families to leave the site, where they were already living before the park was set up in 2001.
The villagers demand that the NLP pay compensation for the dead cattle, arguing that the park imposes fines whenever a member of the community kills a wild animal for food or in self-defence.
The Mavodze families also consider that the park’s management wants to use the population’s fear of the animals introduced into the park to offer lower resettlement conditions than those demanded by the community.
Responding to allegations from the Mavodze community, NLP director Cornelio Miguel quoted by CIVILINFO denied that the lions were intentionally introduced into the park to intimidate the population, noting that the number of wild animals has increased due to improved ecological conditions.
Miguel said that the park that should compensate the families for the cattle eaten by the lions, as the reserve is a State reserve where there should be no private activity.
Miguel said that the NLP has already met the necessary conditions for construction of 720 houses in a new area of residence for the families that will be removed from Mavodze.Source: Lusa
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