Botswana: Police Link Elephant Attacks to Poaching

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Maun — Elephant attacks on human beings in some villages of the Okavango District are on the rise .

Last year, police recorded about eight incidents which took place in different areas and resulted in loss of lives.

This was confirmed by officer commanding, Senior Superintendent Peter Gochela in an interview noting that the incidents of elephant attacks had increased in 2017 as compared to other years.

He confirmed that last year, they recorded eight incidents which took place in villages of Gudigwa, Shakawe and Gumare. He said the situation was worrisome as the elephants were now posing a serious danger to the communities' lives.

However, Senior Superintendent Gochela suspected that the elephants could be aggressive because of poaching stating that they had experienced an increase in incidents of poaching as compared to the previous years.

He revealed that last year, they discovered many elephant carcasses in the Okavango District adding that a number of suspects were arrested in connection with poaching incidents.

"Elephants are not violent animals unless they are provoked hence many unfortunate incidents," he added.

Senior Superintendent Gochela appealed to the communities to work jointly with the law enforcement noting that they should report incidents of poaching in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, recently, a 60 year old man of Xhumxwi cattle post in the Okavango District was attacked and killed by an elephant while searching for his cattle in the bush.

Senior Superintendent Gochela explained that the old man left home in the afternoon but never came back and was found dead in the bush on January 12 with some injuries all over his body.

He said the evidence indicated that he was attacked and killed by an aggressive elephant. In another incident, an old woman was found dead at the surrounding cattle posts near Gumare after elephant attack.

Still in Gumare, it was reported that a 11 year-old boy is recuperating at Gumare Primary Hospital after he survived elephant attack.

According to Senior Superintendent Gochela, the victim was going to the field with his mother when he met his fate. On their way, they came across some elephants which attacked the boy leaving him with serious injuries.

He said the mother reported the matter to the police and the little boy was rushed to the hospital.

Source : BOPA

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