DR Congo plans elephant safe-zone after church intrusion


RTE News

Date Published

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Conservationists in DR Congo said they would create a safe “corridor” for elephants in a district where one caused a commotion by entering a church’s grounds on Easter Sunday.

District administrator Ferdinand Tshikala Etshindo told AFP the pachyderm had been spotted several days ago near Lukula in the west of the vast central African country.

“On Easter Day (17 April) it surprised worshippers outside the church” of Saint Theresa in the nearby diocese of Boma, causing panic, he said.

He said the elephant injured a man of 20 in the belly. An AFP correspondent said the man was taken to hospital.

Authorities in the capital Kinshasa sent the director of the ICCN national parks service Arthur Kalonji to the area after the incident.

Today, Mr Kalonji told reporters he wanted to turn “this elephant intrusion into a source of revenue by creating ecological corridors” for the beasts to roam and graze.

The conservation zone “will be managed in such a way as to allow visitors to see the elephants, for a fee,” he said.