Tragic Incident: Female security guard trampled to death by elephant while on duty


In a devastating turn of events, a 30-year-old woman lost her life after being attacked by an elephant while on guard duty in Hwange.

Lydia Dube, who was stationed at Chaba Mine, tragically succumbed to her injuries at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo. The incident has reignited concerns over the escalating human-wildlife conflict in the mining town’s concession areas, prompting calls for urgent action from the authorities.

According to sources familiar with the incident, Dube, employed as a security guard, had noticed an elephant in the distance while she was stationed near a broken down crane. Sensibly, she decided to seek refuge in the guard room. However, unbeknown to her, another elephant had silently approached from behind and launched a sudden and brutal attack, leaving Dube severely injured and fighting for her life.

A concerned workmate, who requested anonymity, recounted the harrowing incident. “She saw an elephant a distance away and disembarked from the machine she was guarding to go to the guard room. Unbeknown to her, there was an elephant that was lurking behind her that attacked her before she got to the guard room, leaving her for dead. She was discovered still alive but seriously injured,” the workmate disclosed.

Despite being rushed to Hwange Colliery Hospital, Dube’s condition deteriorated rapidly. She was subsequently transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital, but tragically, she succumbed to her injuries upon arrival. The devastating loss has left the community in mourning and has reignited concerns over the increasing incidents of human-wildlife conflict.

Residents in the area, deeply affected by the attack, have directed blame towards mining companies for the surge in such conflicts. Micah Ndlovu, a resident from Lusumbami Village, expressed his concerns, saying, “This is a great concern to us. We are now experiencing more visits by the wild animals than before, and we no longer feel very safe.”

The elephants have been imposing curfews in Lusumbami, Makwika, Madumabisa and Lowe Colliery areas with human movements no longer possible after 6pm. Some residents have criticized the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) for not taking sufficient measures to control problematic animals.

Authorities have been urged to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents and address the underlying causes of the human-wildlife conflict. The Greater Hwange Residents Trust (GWRT) has been engaged in discussions with Zimparks, but conflicting responsibilities and jurisdictional issues have hindered progress. Sithembinkosi Ndhlovu, a programs officer at GWRT, expressed their concerns, stating, “We have engaged Zimparks several times, and there have been conflicts on who should be controlling the animals. Zimparks says it’s a private area belonging to Colliery, but now we don’t know if it has the capacity to handle the issue.”

Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the tragic incident, describing it as unfortunate and saddening.

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