BY TATENDA CHITAGU
CASES of human-wildlife conflict have been on the increase this year compared to last year, after 23 people were killed by wild animals in the first quarter of the year, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) said on Monday.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the deaths were caused by wild animals which stray into nearby communities, leaving a trail of destruction and human fatalities.
“Unlike last year, the number of people killed by wild animals increased in the first quarter of this year. Last year, 60 people died from attacks by the animals in the whole year,” Farawo said.
“But 23 people have been killed by wild animals: 12 by crocodiles, eight by elephants, two by hippos and one by a buffalo in the first quarter of 2021. Only last week, a village head was killed by elephants while trying to scare them away from his fields in Mbire,” he said.
Farawo said the figure was likely to rise as food sources decreased in the parks during the drier season of the year.
“Usually, the conflicts are mainly recorded during the drier seasons when the animals stray in nearby communities in search of food and water,” he said, adding that ZimParks received 1 000 distress calls which they responded to by either capturing the problem animals or shooting them.
Farawo urged communities to timeously report to ZimParks if they spotted wild animals in their vicinity.
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