Rise in Limpopo lion poaching ‘worrisome’ – MEC

Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Seaparo Sekoati, says he worries about the poaching of lions in the province.

LIMPOPO – Sekoati expressed this concern at the provincial offices in Polokwane recently.

Since early this year, 24 lions have been killed and 11 suspects arrested in connection with the illegal killing of lions in the province.

Sekoati said most of the incidents have occurred on private nature reserves in the Waterberg and Mopani regions.


“It is concerning that lion populations in the province are being targeted by poachers, allegedly for the muthi market,” said Sekoati.

He said it is understood that the escalation of lion poaching in the province was triggered by the clampdown on rhino poaching.

“Of concern is the fact that these magnificent animals are also being poached for other body parts, including their paws,” he said.


He added: “Numerous enforcement operations have been conducted throughout the province hence the arrest of 11 perpetrators to date”.

Sekoati said it is imperative that private nature reserve owners beef up their security.

He said the provincial Environmental Management Inspectorate, also known as the Green Scorpions, working in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies are at an advanced stage in their investigation into these crimes and more arrests are expected soon.


“While certain communities believe lion bones hold medicinal properties which help cure cancer and improve virility, other communities are reportedly utilising lion bones as a replacement for tiger bones in tiger wine.

“Our department is embarking on a programme to debunk these perceptions through its Environmental Empowerment Services in order to bring an end to lion killings in our province,” he concluded.

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Desmond Boshego

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