Elephant kills a potato grower in southern Tanzania



Date Published

Arusha: A wild elephant has killed a farmer by trampling him to death after a group of mammals rampaged into a village in southern Tanzania’s district of Tunduru, authorities said Monday.

The incident happened in Twendembele village in the district, and the elephant killed the 35-year-old man, who was on his sweet potatoes’ farm, which is located along Mkundi River. The killed man was identified as Hamisa Malongo.

The incident occurred on Sunday night when jumbos stormed the village in search of food and water from the nearby Selous Game Reserve, according to eyewitnesses.

They said that the deceased was chasing the largest mammals from sweet potato farm.

“It is so sad! Malongo was trying to chase the animals away, but without his knowledge, the elephants started charging against him and finally they trampled on him to his death,” one of the eyewitnesses said.

Villagers heaped the blames on wildlife officers for failing to control the animals from getting into peoples’ homes as they come from Selous Game Reserve –one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, with relatively undisturbed ecological and biological processes, including a diverse range of wildlife with significant predator/prey relationships.

Limbega Ally, Acting Tunduru District Wildlife Officer, confirmed the incident, saying his office has dispatched wildlife rangers to team up with villagers to chase the animals into the Selous Game Reserve.

The official said that elephants in the area are becoming furious against humans because of poaching, which in recent day villagers have been in the frontline to kill the jumbos, once they storm into their villages.

“It is becoming a psychological problem, as elephants are seeing a human being as their enemy,” the official said.

He, however, challenged local communities to stop from doing economic activities such as farming in wildlife corridors, as they disturb the movement of wildlife.

He revealed: “The farm of the killed man has located 200 meters from the game reserve, something which is against the law because farming activities need to be done 500 meters from the sanctuary boundaries.”

“We are determined to reinforce patrols in notorious areas for poaching as well as removing pastoralists and farmers who get into the game reserve,” he said.