A woman in her late 60s was killed and devoured by a lion in the early hours of Saturday in Woodlands resettlement area, a few kilometres outside Victoria Falls, officials have confirmed.
Officials subsequently ordered that the lion be cut open so that the woman’s remains could be retrieved for burial.
The woman was among villagers who were guarding the carcass of a cow that had earlier been killed by a pride of lions.
Villagers teamed up to scare away the lions and get the meat.
However, a lioness returned at around 2am and attacked, killed the granny — identified as Mrs Tshuma — and fed on her.
Efforts to get a comment from National Parks public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya -Moyo were fruitless.
The police officer commanding Victoria Falls, Chief Superintendent Jairos Chiona could also not be reached for comment, but Hwange Rural District Council deputy chairperson Mr Matthew Muleya said: “It’s true that an elderly woman from Woodlands resettlement area was attacked and killed by a female lion in the early hours of (Saturday), around 2am.
“What happened is that a pride of lions killed a cow and villagers, as the norm here, teamed up to scare the lions so that they recover the meat. They managed to scare away the pride of lions and took possession of the carcass.
“The villagers took guard of the carcass with the intention of removing the meat at sunrise. The granny was part of the villagers who were guarding the meat. However, unbeknown to them was that the oldest female lion of the pride was sneaking on them. It then pounced on the villagers but most of them managed to escape but the granny who was seated could not stand up and run resulting in her being attacked and killed on the spot.”
After killing her, instead of eating the cow, the lioness started feasting on the woman’s body from the legs up to the chest.
“We had to send our rangers to the scene who arrived and found the lioness still feeding on her body and killed it.
‘‘We had to (cut open) the lion so that we recover some body parts which it had consumed,” Mr Muleya said.
Mrs Tshuma was buried yesterday afternoon.
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