BY Veneranda Langa/Nhau Mangirazi
A GARDENER at Mzimukhulu Lodge was yesterday morning trampled to death by an elephant near Lomagundi Lodge in Kariba on his way to work.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident yesterday.
“We can confirm that a 52-year-old man was trampled to death by an elephant in Kariba,” he told NewsDay.
“This is another life which has been lost because we all know that our animals have exceeded their ecological carrying capacity and they are now invading human
settlements causing a lot of problems. There is need for us to be allowed to cull these animals so that people are safe.”
Farawo expressed concern that many lives have been lost due to human-wildlife conflict, particularly involving elephants.
“Over the past five years, we have lost more than 200 people. This year alone, this is the sixth life that has been lost (to elephants).”
He said ZimParks would continue to educate communities to ensure that they keep a distance from the animals that can be extremely dangerous.
Farawo indicated that the drought that has hit the country had resulted in animals invading human settlements in search of water.
Kariba resident Josphat Mutaro, of Nyamhunga high-density suburb, said elephants were wreaking havoc in the town.
“This is a sad day for us as Kariba residents because elephants are wreaking havoc here. They are moving around residential areas and we are no longer at peace at all,” Mutaro said.
Another resident, Gerald Hondo, said communities must benefit from wildlife, but should also be compensated when tragedy strikes.
“Our community must benefit from these animals if they are killed. We are forced to coexist with these animals, so it is only fair that the family be compensated following the tragedy,” he said.
Kariba Residents and Ratepayers Association chairperson Sam Mawawo called on ZimParks rangers to patrol the suburbs to avoid loss of life. “We are calling on
ZimParks to ensure our safety while maintaining animal rights,” he said.
Mawawo recommended regular night patrols in residential areas to protect residents.