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VICTORIA FALLS: Elephants have been freely roaming this resort city’s streets at night putting the lives of residents in danger as the animals forage for mango fruit trees.
On Saturday night, another dark cloud hovered over Victoria Falls after a 60-year-old man was killed by elephants in yet another case of human-wildlife conflict.
This comes as the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management (ZimParks) has reported that 60 people were killed by crocodiles and elephants between January and October this year with 40 others left with injuries following attacks by the wild animals.
William Mavesere of Chinotimba was on his way home from work when a herd of three jumbos and a calf attacked him along a road that passes through the southern side of the Victoria Falls police station.
He was employed at the Comfort Pub and Grill.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident and said rangers are on the ground hunting down the herd.
However, the incident comes barely a month after a senior anti-game scout who was employed by the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, Clever Kapandura was trampled to death while on duty.
Residents have, however, called on ZimParks to value human life.
“Several reports have been made, but ZimParks does not act. To them, animals are more important than people. Sometimes we have been told that we are the ones who settled in a wildlife area hence, and we have to learn to live with them,” Misheck Mpofu, a Victoria Falls resident, said.
Another resident Felistas Shoko said ZimParks should be sensitive to people’s well-being.
“Their elephants are killing breadwinners and this is leaving families in poverty. There is not even compensation for loss of life,” she said.
Villagers in nearby areas of Victoria Falls have also lost their livestock to other predators such as lions and hyenas.