THIRTY people have been killed by elephants in Zimbabwe this year alone, with the number expected to rise as the country approaches the dry season when animals move more in search for food and water.
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) confirmed the deaths yesterday, saying the growing number of cases of human-wildlife conflict mostly involve elephants.
“We are experiencing a rise in deaths spawned by elephants. This year, so far we have recorded 30 cases of people who have been killed by elements. These animals are overcrowded, so as a result, they escape from the game parks and invade people’s territories in search of food or water where people get killed,” Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said.
“We are in June, the situation is expected to worsen in the dry months because in the parks, there will be less food, less water, which means people need to be very careful as the elephants will be moving around and ravaging territories.”
He added that Zimparks was trying to come up with solutions to reduce cases of human-animal conflict in the country.
“We are still planning how best we can control the population of elephants and we have come up with several options such as translocating the animals into other areas, but the challenge is that it is too expensive, as we all know that elephants are also capable of destroying anything,” Farawo said.
“We are moving around the communities to do awareness campaigns that educate people on animal habits and how to protect themselves.”
At 100 000, Zimbabwe has the world’s second largest population of elephants after neighbouring Botswana and is considering culling as a way of controlling the population.