Large Elephant Herd on The Loose in Mutare (Zimbabwe)


James Muonwa, The New Zimbabwe

Date Published

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The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) has put communities on high alert after a herd of elephants strayed into the Mutsago area, Mutare Rural District Council (RDC)’s Ward 24.

The herd, whose size could not be established, is on the loose and poses a danger to villagers, particularly at night.

ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the matter Thursday. Farawo said: “ZimParks wishes to inform communities surrounding Mutsago area, Ward 24 of Mutare RDC that we are seized with a report of a herd.”

Communities surrounding this ward are being advised to be calm, minimise unnecessary movements especially at night or attempts to scare them away as they are a danger to life and property.

“The authority will keep the community informed of our efforts and improve monitoring of these jumbos. We encourage the Mutsago community to be calm as we are on the ground and lethal means maybe used to ensure that communities are safe.”

Elephants at times wade into villages in search of food and water, and this often results in human-wildlife conflict cases in which people are killed or maimed.

About 90% of people who died in human-animal conflict in Zimbabwe last year, were killed by elephants.

A total 72 people were trampled by jumbos in 2021 alone, while about the same number of people were injured resulting in terminal disabilities.