Home Zimbabwe News ZIMPARKS: 60 have been killed so far by wild animals

ZIMPARKS: 60 have been killed so far by wild animals

Elephant vs Crodiles

ZIMPARKS: 60 have been killed so far by wild animals. Between January and December last year, about 50 people were killed by wild animals, yet 60 people have so far been killed between January and October alone in 2021 bringing a rise of 10 people with two more months to complete the year.

Sixty people have been killed by elephants and crocodiles while 40 have been injured by wild animals in the last 10 months, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has said.

According to Zimparks, elephants and crocodiles are contributing more than 90 percent of reported human-wildlife conflict cases that end in fatalities.

Zimparks also indicated that crocodile attacks were also very common, and were the second biggest killer after elephants. Zimparks is currently involved in a consultative process with communities in order to establish how the local authority could deal with wild animals encroaching on communal spaces.

In an interview with H-Metro, Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said Zimparks rangers were out in full force across the country, responding to distress calls and trying to deal with problem animals to protect communities,” he said.

“It is with great sadness that a middle-aged man was killed by an elephant in Musadonha last week, while another man was killed in Tsholotsho on Friday. “A woman recently survived a lion attack, this just shows how grave the situation is.

“We urge communities to avoid night time movements and to adhere to the advice and recommendations from our education and awareness campaigns that we hold in communities. These will help save lives.”

Farawo said most of the tragic wildlife attacks involved elephants, as the dry season takes hold and the huge animals move in search for water, sometimes encroaching into communal areas. “Elephants and crocodiles combined actually account for more than 90 percent of tragic wildlife attacks.” he said.

“We have had cases of lion, buffalo and leopard attacks, but these are very few as compared to elephants and crocodile attacks.” He said the country was facing an elephant overpopulation crisis and highlighted that sometimes the wildlife authority had to put down problem animals.

“As we are in the dry season, elephants can actually smell or detect water 10 km away, so this draws them to communal areas,” Farawo said. “We need to depopulate because we currently have more elephants than we can comfortably handle.

“Right now, we are in the middle of a consultative process with communities countrywide and we seek to find ways on how best we can deal with the issue of human-wildlife conflict. “We hope to come up with innovative ways that can better protect communities.”

Cases of human-wildlife conflict have become all too frequent, with a 32-year-old woman and her child being seriously injured by an elephant in Kariba recently. And a 60-year-old man was trampled to death by an elephant in Victoria Falls this week.

Source – H-Metro

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