Harare – A Zimbabwean safari group is urging people not to drive in game-rich areas at night, after a second elephant was knocked down and had to be killed.
An adult female was hit by a vehicle sometime on Tuesday night, according to the Amalinda Collection, which operates two lodges in Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe.
In a “very distressed” state, she made her way to a waterhole near one of the lodges, where staff alerted the state wildlife authority. A vet was called and it was decided to put her down, the group said on its Facebook page.
A post-mortem showed she had a shattered hip and back leg and had probably been in an “incredible amount of pain”.
Earlier this week, the Kariba Animal Welfare Fund trust reported that an elephant calf was killed by a car just outside the northern tourist town of Kariba on Sunday, as it ran to catch up with the rest of its herd. A trust official told News24 that fatal road accidents involving elephants near Kariba happened at least once a year.
The Amalinda Collection advised people not to drive at night.
Elephant lovers posted messages of grief and anger on the group’s Facebook page. One woman suggested the vehicle “must have been driving pretty fast to hit an elephant? Surely this should not be happening?” Another said: “This seems to be happening far too often.”
Elephants will be among the game soon to be put on sale by Zimbabwe’s national parks in what the authorities say is a bid to save them from drought-induced starvation, the Herald reported this week.