Dr. Innocent Billy Ng’ombwa has become an overnight social media star after his heroic act of tranquilizing a lioness that went rogue by escaping from Munda Wanga Animal Sanctuary in Chilanga District of Lusaka Province on Sunday night.

The lioness was in search of a partner with whom to exercise its conjugal rights.

What seemed to have caught the attention of many social media enthusiasts after pictures went viral was the 34 year old UNZA trained Vet Doctor’s attire; a seemingly shiny grey suit with a bowtie nicely strapped around his neck as he aimed his dart gun on the wild beast.

But Dr. Billy, as he is fondly called by his mates, says his attire was not relevant to his operation because lives were at stake and he had just been called whilst attending a friend’s wedding at Sandy’s Creation a few kilometres from Munda Wanga.

“I was attending a friend’s wedding at Sandy’s Creation when I was called that a lion had escaped and had eaten a dog at the residence where it was and the owner had alerted Police,” he says.

With the mantle of Acting Principal Veterinary Officer at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife under the Ministry of Tourism on his shoulder, Dr. Billy knew that trouble would come down on him like a ton of bricks if he didn’t act swiftly hence summoning for his dart gun and tranquillizers from his wards to the place where the lion was.

Asked on the “firing” position of stepping on a wall fence right close to a sharp razor wire which is a risky stunt, Dr. Billy says he needed the best spot to demobilise the lion.

“My dart gun is only able to shoot up to 50m and that place was like about 70m or so, so I needed to find a spot closer to the lion that’s why I stood on the roof of my car with one leg on the wall fence. I only had one shot to demobilise it because if I had missed then the lion would have been alerted and escaped, says Dr. Billy to #KTVNews.

He says the lioness, with a lot of difficulty, managed to run back to Munda Wanga after being tranquilized because the medicine takes 10 minutes at most to fully kick in.

Dr. Billy, who is still single, further notes that as a precautionary measure, the lion has been caged in a steel and concrete reinforced cage because such habits don’t end once it starts.

“I will have to put a tracker on it and find a National Park where we can release it to freely roam. The lion was on heat because we have separated males and females as we are trying to avoid them over breed in captivity,” he said adding that “the lion also killed a dog which challenged it. Usually dogs run away when they smell lions but this one seemed to have been one of those strong breeds.”

Dr. Billy’s mobile phone has all of a sudden been ringing off-the-hook, like a switch board, because various media organisations are eager to profile him.

Many people consider him a hero for preventing the wild beast from feasting on humans but others are questioning the safety of residents within the vicinity of Munda Wanga and how such an animal escaped.

Some people on social media are already advocating for a Presidential recognition for Dr. Billy for going an extra mile in doing his job.

One of the messages read as below:

“He is a potential candidate for an investiture ceremony ‘where by you had to leave the wedding ceremony to demobilise a stray lion, your commitment to duty is worth commendation’.”

Credit #KTV

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