By George Vhudzi
Residents from Birthday residential area in Zvishavane are living in fear over the safety of their babies as hordes of baboons have expanded their territory into their homes.
The residents told this paper that the wild animals are raiding their houses, opening doors and also jump through open windows despite the presence of people inside.
A Birthday resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, said baboons mainly target children and that last week her friend was a victim to the marauding animals.
“Last week a baboon slapped a child and she was rushed to hospital for medical care and on the following day the apes broke into my house where they destroyed a glass table,’ she said.
Another resident, Norleen Chikombe said that people no longer leave their little children outside without supervision of an elderly person as the animals tend to snatch children.
“At first we thought it was because of shortage of food when the baboons used to break into chicken coops,’ she said.
‘Now our greatest fear is the current situation where they have resorted on grabbing children”, said Chikombe.
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management has attributed human and wildlife conflict as a result of growing competition for resources.
“This is a result of the continuous extension of residential areas into areas where the animals used to find food and shelter. Now the result is baboons moving into residential suburbs fighting for resources,’ said a parks official who requested anonymity.
He said several cases have been reported where baboons abandon their wild habitats moving into human settlements.