The ministry of environment has put down four elephants, which were part of a large group terrorising villagers and damaging crops of communal farmers in the north.
The ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda confirmed yesterday that four elephants were put down between 27 April and 3 May in Oshikoto and Omusati regions. Two elephants were put down at Onanke in Oshikoto, while two others were killed at Orukupa and Omakange villages in Omusati.
The meat was distributed among the villagers, partly as relief for their damaged crops and properties. The government granted a permit to a hunter to kill the animals after farmers complained about the elephants destroying their crops and property.
“It is unfortunate that the elephants was put down but we were left with no other alternative after this specific animals continued to cause damage to crops in the areas,” Muyunda said. He explained that the ministry is currently monitoring the human-wildlife conflict situation countrywide and not only in the two regions.
“The ministry is still busy with the process of offsetting the people who lost their properties and the crops but in the meantime, they were given meat of those animals that destroyed and damaged their property,” he said. Two weeks ago, villagers of Onamwege in the Omakange area of Omusati region expressed concern over extensive crop damage by elephants. The villagers say they lost crops to the marauding wild animals for almost a week.
They claimed that 10 mahangu fields were destroyed in that area by then, telling New Era that elephants destroyed all their crops and vegetables, further damaging their fences and homesteads.