150 stray elephants storm villages, destroy crops in Tanzania



Date Published

A herd of 150 elephants stormed into villages in northwest Tanzania, destroying 160 acres of food and cash crops, authorities confirmed Friday.

The elephants were strays from Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site as big as Northern Ireland.

Local media reports said villages most affected by the jumbos’ invasion were those in Itilima District, Simiyu Region.

According to the reports, for the past three days, the elephants were roaming around locals’ farms destroying crops such as maize, sorghum and cotton.

“I had three acres of maize, which have been destroyed by the elephants. I am not sure of what I am going to feed my family this year,” complained Nila Delefa, a farmer in the area.

“I have never seen such large group of elephants in my life. Our efforts to scare them away failed as the wild animals were charging to us. So, everyone in the village ran away,” Derefa said.

He said that the first group of elephants landed into the area on Wednesday.

Another villager Shigilu Mlashi described the destruction as “devastating,” as the situation is likely to pose security concerns.

Ndulu Mtegwa, ward councilor in the area, said that six villagers have been affected by the elephants’ invasion.

He described the situation as worrisome as people in the area have sleepless nights due to elephant invasion.

Benson Kilangi, Itilima District Commissioner, confirmed the incident. “We’re aware of the new challenge and we’ve dispatched wildlife officers into the affected areas, to chase away the elephants to the national park,” Kilangi said.