Sparrow, of Lion Park, a few kilometres out of Masvingo, was forcibly evicted from his farm and was currently believed to be in exile in South Africa. He fled the country after police wanted to arrest him for resisting eviction from the farm which was invaded by former Zanu (PF) provincial chairman, retired army major Alex Mudavanhu.
Sparrow skipped the country with only the clothes he was putting on in 2009.
Last year, two of the lions, which were taken over by the National Parks Department, once escaped out of the park due to lack of food and caused a scare to surrounding villagers. They were later recaptured before the other one was shot after attacking villagers’ livestock.
SPCA provincial manager, Helen Johnson, urged the Parks Department to feed the lions or give them to people who can do that. She also said the lions could also be transferred to the National Parks Department.
“I went there a day ago. The animals looked very hungry and were very aggressive like never before,” she told Radio VOP on Thursday. “The animals are no longer what they used to be. They are very pale.”
Johnson said she had been informed by a worker that one of the female lions was eating its puppies due to lack of food.
Contacted for comment, National Parks spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo promised to get to Radio VOP.
“I have heard you, I will get back to you as soon I find out the situation on the ground,” Washaya-Moyo said.
But a follow up proved futile as she did not answer her mobile phone.Washaya-Moyo also did not respond to messages sent to her.