An elderly woman was killed and eaten by a lion near Zimbabwe’s resort town of Victoria Falls this weekend, according to press reports Sunday.
The privately-owned Standard newspaper identified the victim as Sarah Tshuma who lived in the Woodlands area of the district. She was reportedly killed early Saturday morning.
The Standard said that Tshuma was sleeping outside to guard her cattle from lions and had been left alone by other villagers who preferred to sleep indoors.
But the state-controlled Sunday News and Sunday Mail newspapers said she was part of a group of villagers who were sleeping outside to guard the carcass of a cow that had already been killed by the pride.
Local council official Matthew Muleya told the Sunday News, “What happened is that a pride of lions killed a cow and villagers, as [is] the norm here, teamed up to scare the lions away so that they recover the meat.”
He said the villagers were guarding the carcass and intended to take it away to share the next day.
Muleya told the paper, “Unbeknown to them… the oldest female lion of the pride was sneaking [up] on them.”
Tshuma was reportedly unable to get away fast enough.
The lioness has since been killed by state game rangers.