Roaming elephants have villagers fearing for their lives (South Africa)


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LIMPOPO: Three elephants roaming the vicinity of Ha-Lambani have residents living in the area in a state of panic. The elephants have apparently been spotted since November 6.

They have not attacked anyone, however residents are terrified of these giant animals so close to home.

Chief Phanuel Nevhupfumba called on the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and the Kruger National Park (KNP) to ensure that the park’s fence is reinforced.

He said the elephants are believed to have escaped from the KNP and authorities have been informed.

“The residents found the elephants in the streets. I’m worried because these animals are dangerous. When they come here, we panic. Now we hear rumours that there are more, so we fear for our lives,” said Nevhupfumba.

He also said it is not the first time that residents spot elephants around the village.

Three months ago, four elephants had been spotted in the same area and it also had to be reported to the department, who came to inspect the situation.

Rudzani Gelebe, a resident from the area, said that the sight of elephants wandering the streets has struck fear in the hearts of residents. He advised anyone who sees an elephant to immediately call the authorities.

Zaid Kalla, spokesperson for the the department, said they have learnt of stray elephants roaming around Ha-Lambani village and rangers from their department have been deployed to search for the animals.

“We will investigate where these elephants originate from. We often have a situation where wild animals cross over from the border to this side to feed in the bushes. Sometimes they wander off too far and end up at the villages and disturb the peace. We plead with community structures in the area to alert residents about the presence of the elephants and to warn them to avoid the animals at all costs. They must not approach these animals. The stray elephants will soon be driven away to ensure community safety,” Kalla explained.