The communities of Okhukho and Nqulwane in northern KwaZulu-Natal have announced plans to build a ten-kilometre fence to secure themselves from the wildlife escaping from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
This follows the recent escape of lions and two white rhinos from the reserve through what the community claim are sections of the park’s broken fence.
One of the rhinos recently wounded a woman.
There are also reports of lions killing livestock.
Community leader Similo Khanyile says, “We need the fence that is of high quality because remember we are talking about dangerous animals there. We need the high-quality fence but because we don’t have enough resources, we don’t have enough money to buy high-quality material. So we are relying on people to donate, we will use what we have to put up the fence.”
Another community leader Msizi Myaka says their pleas for government to intervene in the last few months have fallen on deaf ears.
He says the fence building project will start at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park’s Cengeni gate on Tuesday.
“Actually there should be a buffer zone between hip fence and livestock grazing land. Now there is no fence that’s why most of the time it’s easier for the dangerous animals to escape from Hluhluwe and just come outside where we have unprotected cattle,” adds Myaka.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has declined to comment.
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