HomeLocal NewsKiller elephants roam Mutare streets

Killer elephants roam Mutare streets

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A Mutare conservancy is battling to contain two elephants which have left residents in surrounding areas living in perpetual fear as the animals roam the streets at will, scavenging for food.

The run-down conservancy, Cecil Kop, operating under Wildlife Environment Zimbabwe, has lost virtually all its fencing to thieves, exposing residents to the wildlife. The affected suburbs include Murambi, Morningside and Bordervale.

Recently the local community handed a petition to Mutare city’s Environment Committee seeking the translocation of the elephants.

Communication among Cecil Kop officials, National Parks and Wildlife Management, Tikki Hywood Trust, Mutare City Council and residents indicated the elephants were supposed to have been relocated to Gonarezhou National Park last weekend.

However, as efforts were being made to move the animals, Cecil Kop officials sought a court interdict to bar the move.

This triggered the ire of many residents who, through their Facebook, Moving Mutare Elephants, have called on relevant stakeholders to intervene.

In a NewsDay survey yesterday, residents said they were living in constant fear because the elephants were a potential threat to humans.

Two years ago one Mutare woman was attacked by one of the elephants in the area and died.

“The elephants should be moved from the park as a matter of urgency.

They are a potential threat and they have done a lot of damage to our homes. Most residents agree that the park is a wonderful and essential asset of Mutare, but are just pleading for the elephants to be contained or moved,” said Lynne James, a resident.

“Even if we try to move them back into the park we fear they will be irritated and attack us. They destroyed our fence, durawall and orchards. They are no good for us,” said another resident, Emmanuel Matirongo.

Property damaged by the elephants include water and drainage pipes as well as telephone lines.

Mutare mayor Brian James said: “As mayor of this city, I have requested management and councillors to discuss the issue of Cecil Kop to find an amicable solution. The issue of elephants is urgent and as it stands at the moment residents’ lives could be in danger,” he said.

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