Human wildlife conflicts

ZMB - Legal Hub - Human Wildlife Conflit - Picture © Brent Stirton


The Zambia Wildlife Act provides for a right to self-defence against wildlife attacks, and where necessary, a person can kill a wild animal in defence of oneself or in defence of another person It stipulates specific instances where it is excusable to kill wildl animals in defence of property and prescribes the procedure to be followed.
The person who has killed an animal shall, within a period of 24 hours, submit a report on the event to the nearest authorized officer and shall, unless otherwise entitled to retain the animal under a licence or permit issued under this Wildlife Act, hand over to the authorized officer its carcass, trophy or meat as the authorized officer may direct.

A person who, in any circumstances, wounds a dangerous animal and fails without reasonable cause to use all reasonable effort to kill the animal at the earliest possible opportunity, shall, within 48 hours, report the circumstances of the wounding to the nearest authorized officer
The law does not provide for preliminary strategies to manage or prevent human-animal conflict, nor does it specifically provide for financial compensation of wildlife damage in human-animal conflict. When an animal that has caused damage to property is killed in line with the provisions of the law, its carcass or trophy can be given to the victim as compensation for the damage suffered. 
Failure to report the killing or wounding of an animal in self-defence, in defence of others, or in defence of property within the stipulated time is an offence, and the offender is liable to a fine or to imprisonment, or both
The Zambia Wildlife Act does not explicitly define “human-wildlife conflict”(HWC); however its  management can be considered part of the functions of the DNPW. An important role is played by the authorized officer, i.e.” a wildlife police officer, a police officer of the rank of inspector or above, a community scout or an honorary wildlife police officer”, to whom reports of the killings for self-defence or in defence of property shall be submitted. If elephants and rhinoceros are wounded, an additional report shall also be submitted to the Wildlife Management Licensing Committee within 48 hours 
A wildlife officer and wildlife police officer shall exercise such functions and perform such duties as are conferred by the Wildlife Act or as may be delegated or assigned to them by the Director. An authorized officer may arrest a person, without warrant, where he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has committed an offence or is about to commit an offence, and there is no other way to prevent the commission of the offence, or is willfully obstructing the authorized officer in the execution of the officer’s duties. An authorized officer who makes an arrest shall, without undue delay, have the arrested person brought to a police station.
The Director of Public Prosecutions may, at the request of the Director, in writing, appoint by name or rank a wildlife officer to undertake the prosecution of any offence alleged to have been committed under the Act. A wildlife officer shall, in undertaking prosecution, act in accordance with the general or special instructions of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The law does not provide for specific functional coordination to manage, prevent or control HWC other than what is permissible within the broader discretion of the Minister. Major operational coordination and cooperation are mainly between wildlife police, guards or scouts, authorized officers and the Zambia Police.