Tsholotsho Rural District Council has resorted to using gunfire to chase away herds of elephants that have been terrorising villagers in the district over the past three months.
The elephants are reportedly destroying crops, depleting water reserves and injuring residents.
Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule of MDC said council had managed to chase away the destructive elephants using gunfire.
“We have chased the elephants that were terrorising us away by using gunfire to scare them back to Hwange National Park,” he said. “This was a decision taken by the local authority two weeks ago. At the moment these elephants are nowhere to be seen.”
Gaule said the elephants’ trail of destruction had prompted the local authority to turn to rifles to scare them but warned villagers that the jumbos could return.
“People should know that despite the efforts taken by the local authority, these elephants could return,” he said.
“The game rangers, however, are still going to chase the elephants away by shooting in the air.”
Gaule also encouraged Tsholotsho villagers to desist from moving around at night or walking alone in the bush.
“To avoid injuries or deaths caused by elephants, villagers are encouraged not to move around at night or walk alone in the bush,” he said. “I know of six people who have been injured by elephants in Tsholotsho since last year.”
In March, 13 cattle were devoured by a pride of lions in Hwange West, Chief Shana’s area, where elephants were also reportedly roaming freely and destroying villagers’ crops.