30 December 2013

Zimbabwe: Harassed Jumbo Tramples Man to Death

Man trampled to death by elephant ...

An elephant turned violent on Tuesday and trampled a man to death in Mashonaland Central's Mvurwi district after locals pelted the animal with stones, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has said.

The lone bull had reportedly made its way to Forester Estates owned by a German national when locals apparently tried to kill it.

Said ZimParks public relations manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo: "At around 10am today (Monday) a lone bull elephant was sighted in Forester Estate Resettlement area in Mvurwi.

"Investigations reveal that members of the community started harassing the elephant by making noise and throwing stones at it. This irritated the elephant leading to one of the villagers being trampled to death."

ZimParks staff in the area said the bull was "tracking back to Mavuradonha wilderness area" where it was thought to have strayed from.

Washaya-Moyo appealed to people in Guruve, Centenary and Mvurwi to desist from travelling at night and desist from approaching potentially dangerous wild animals.

"The ZimParks staff will maintain its presence in the area until the situation is brought to normal," she said.

Elephants are known to be skittish and aggressive especially when family groups are in danger. They are also very sensitive to sound and often react violently to noise.

In October ZimParks reported three elephants attacked and trampled to death a ranger during an anti-poaching patrol in Hwange nature reserve where more than 109 elephants have been poisoned by poachers using cyanide.

Veteran ranger Lovemore Maphosa, 61, was charged down by the elephants when separated from colleagues in a remote part of Hwange National Park during a 10 day foot patrol.

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