Elephant tramples man to death:
A STRAY elephant trampled on and killed a 61-year-old man who was herding cattle in Save Conservancy, Chipinge.
The incident occurred on January 1 at around 1pm.
Wilson Mahupani Mapakame, of Mutorwa Village, met his fate while looking for cattle that had strayed into the conservancy.
He was in the company of Samuel Mudimu, who escaped the attack.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed the incident.
“We received a report that two men - Wilson Mahupani Mapakame and Samuel Mudimu - were attacked by elephants while herding cattle along Save River,” said Insp Kakohwa.
“Mudimu managed to escape leaving the old man under attack. We are still investigating the matter.”
Narrating the incident, Mudimu said:
“Since it was New Year, the deceased elected to rest his children from herding cattle. He wanted them to celebrate the New Year’s Day and we went to the grazing lands along Save River and closer to the conservancy. I was also herding my cattle”.
“After midday we decided to drive our cattle back home so we that could celebrate the New Year’s Day with others. Unknown to us, some cattle strayed into the conservancy, and while we were looking for them, a stray elephant suddenly appeared from the conservancy and charged towards us. Within a few seconds, the elephant had trampled on Mapakame, and he later died,” he said.
“I escaped by running towards Save River. After crossing the river I informed other villagers who swiftly reacted and attended the scene. Unfortunately, he had already died,” he said.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo expressed concern over increasing cases of human-elephant conflicts that have resulted in loss of human life.
Mr Farawo urged communities to stay away from wild animals as they could be dangerous.
“We experienced an increased number of elephants in Save Conservative over the years. The area is supposed to sustain about 5 000 and we are sitting on more than 13 000,” he said.
Mr Farawo said they were facing challenges of wild animals encroaching into communities.
He said nearly 100 people have died because of human-wildlife conflict.
“From 2010 we have lost more than 100 lives and the majority of the deaths were as a result of human-elephant conflicts.”