Recent attacks by a lioness on a game ranger in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park and that of a crocodile attack on a young lady in the Umhlatuze River in Ntambanana could be directly attributed to the impact of the desperate drought conditions that have gripped the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

“Most dam levels in the province are below 40% of their capacities and it is projected that dams will run dry by October this year in spite of the rains expected in March. Vast tracts of once productive farm lands are now lying barren and large numbers of animals on farms and game reserves are dying every day as a result of the water shortage. But this is only what we are see on the surface and I am deeply concerned about the impact that the drought is having on our daily lives and the economy of our country,” said IFP National Chairman, Hon Blessed Gwala MPL “What we do not see is the impact that the drought is having on the psyche of animals. Recently a lioness killed a game ranger who was
attending to a water pump in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park while a young lady was attacked by a crocodile in the Umhlatuze River. It could be that animals are becoming aggressive because of the water shortage and the impact that it is having on their environment and way of life. The game ranger worked at the park for the past sixteen years and must be considered to be experienced and aware of his surroundings but he fell victim to the lioness. The young lady survived the croc attack only because of her presence of mind and the bravery of a man who attacked the croc with a spear. As human beings we need to be fully aware of the devastating impact that the drought is having on all life forms and make every effort to save water,” concluded Hon Gwala.

The Inkatha Freedom Party sends its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased game ranger and wishes the young lady a speedy recovery.