Bulawayo – Two elephants have been shot dead just outside Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and locals have sliced them up for meat, according to eyewitnesses and media reports on Saturday.
The local B-Metro tabloid said the pair were shot dead on Thursday in the Umguza area, 15kms from the city centre. A third elephant managed to get away, according to the report.
“Villagers feared for their safety so it was decided they should be eliminated to avoid human-animal contact,” the newspaper reported.
A groom from The Southern Equestrian Centre stables in Bulawayo reportedly saw three elephants in the back paddock of the property early on Thursday morning.
An eyewitness told a Sapa correspondent that: “Police shot two [elephants] by MacDonald Bricks and said to people they could come for meat.
The B-Metro reported that when it arrived at the scene around 6.30pm “about 200 knife-wielding men, women and children were vigorously slicing the two elephants.”
Resident Sikhumuleli Ncube told the paper: “This is unbelievable. I won’t buy meat for the next two months. This is manna from heaven.”
Other locals drove to the scene with trucks so they could transport the meat home.