These African countries are now banning lion and zebra migration

Photo South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs announced over the weekend that it would be enforcing a ban on travelling in Omicron on its territory. The Omicron National Park is located in the southeastern…

These African countries are now banning lion and zebra migration

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South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs announced over the weekend that it would be enforcing a ban on travelling in Omicron on its territory.

The Omicron National Park is located in the southeastern part of the country, near the border with Mozambique.

The ban, a form of quarantine, followed the death of 19 of the last 450 zebras that roam its land in 2016. The area is home to a large population of lions, not unlike the park itself.

“The park will not allow the movement of animals such as lions, cheetahs, rhino, leopards, elephants and hippopotamuses to the affected area in the wild because of the risk of natural diseases to these big animals and their immediate inhabitants,” said department spokesman Neil Seabrooks.

Other parks are doing something similar. Vavi’s Rusumo Nature Reserve outside Pretoria is also experiencing a fatal zebra plague. The park was previously open to the public but a beefed-up anti-rabies response system has forced it to restrict travel, beginning with a temporary flight ban. The two zebra parks are barely 30 miles apart.

South Africa’s safari industry generates an estimated $1.3 billion every year. Other conservation efforts have seen an uptick in visitors from both within South Africa and from neighboring countries, with Mozambique offering safaris on its own side of the border, about 350 miles away. “We have an open border — we make it easy to leave or come here,” the Mozambican Tourism Minister, Jose Maria Sousa, told CNN in 2016. “The level of tourists goes up from 10,000 to 15,000 in July and August.”

In Zimbabwe, meanwhile, meanwhile, a 10-year ban on zebra fishing, carried out on national park grounds and along traditional river banks, has generated a collective sense of frustration. “This development has become an area of intense debate,” a community representative told AFP in April 2017. “It is all based on cultural norms but the end result is negative.” While the community has cited socioeconomic concerns for the fishing ban, the poachers claim that it caused several pregnant zebras to lose their babies.

In Botswana, following a band of big cats eating a local woman alive, it was revealed that the Chobe National Park is permitted to release lions.

And those are just a few cases in which regional conservation policies have been recently reversed.

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Excerpted with permission from the Washington Post.

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