Two buffaloes roaming streets of Mahikeng shot dead

2020-02-28 14:28
Buffalo.

Buffalo. (iStock)

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Two buffaloes which were seen roaming the streets of Mahikeng in North West were shot dead on Wednesday. 

According to SABC News, the buffaloes - a male and female - were spotted near the North West University campus. 

In video footage of the incident, a large crowd can be seen gathering as professional hunters brought in by the provincial Department of Economic Development, Environment and Conservation prepare to shoot the buffaloes. Gunshots are then heard, followed by footage of the buffaloes' carcasses.

According to Daily Sun, officials killed the animals, "as they posed danger to members of the community".

Dr Langa Madyibi, director of North West Veterinary Services, told SABC News that live ammunition was used because the animals were "excitable" and posed a danger to humans. He said animals that are excitable are not easily sedated.

Jonathan Denga, director of biodiversity management at the department, told TimesLive the decision had to be made immediately to protect humans.

"We were forced to act with speed, given the situation at hand, the aggressiveness of the animals and the veterinary precautions... the decision was taken to put the two buffalo down," Denga reportedly said.

Spokesperson for the Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Dumisa Seshabela, told the Sowetan that they immediately had dispatched problem animal control specialists and biodiversity conservation officers to the scene to deal with the situation.

"The department notes that this was not the ideal outcome, although given the condition of the animals and the situation at hand where human lives were potentially at risk, the duty to put them down was discharged swiftly," said Seshabela.

It remains unclear where the buffaloes came from, but the department reportedly said it would conduct an extensive investigation into that, and how they had managed to be within a central area of town.

Denga told SABC News he suspected the animals were simply dropped off in the area and that it was unlikely that they had escaped from a nearby game farm. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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