The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) employee who was on a plane that crashed in Chewore Safari Area in Mbire last week left his two injured colleagues to look for water, but did not return to the aircraft wreckage, rescuers were told by the injured duo.
Of the four passengers on board, one died after the crash while the other two are now receiving medical attention in Harare.
Efforts to locate the missing man have intensified, with the rescue mission now being led by the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) which has already made significant strides including discovery of the plane wreckage.
The rescue team was told that the missing man (name withheld) left his colleagues who were badly injured, on an audacious mission to fetch some water.
The injured told the rescuers the general direction the missing man had taken, but the statements were incoherent, which complicated the rescue work.
Several of AFZ's planes have been deployed on the search mission.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu last night said they were continuing to work with Zambian authorities to locate the missing man.
"According to their training as rangers, they know that if you are getting weaker, you need to find somewhere you can hide," he said.
"Either a cave or somewhere you can just hide so they (Air Force) are saying there may be no need to use aircraft.
"We now have more than 60 rangers on the ground who are using sniffer dogs."