Daily Sun (SA)

ELEPHANT MEAT MAKES FOR EARLY XMAS!

Xigalo villagers were excited about sharing the meat of an elephant that rangers killed on Tuesday. Photo by Mzamani Mathye  ~ 

IT WAS a day villagers from Xigalo, near Malamulele in Limpopo will never forget.

One of two elephants that crossed over the border from Zimbabwe was shot on Tuesday as it posed a threat to locals.

Rushing to the scene with bakkies, donkey carts and empty mealie sacks, villagers took out knives, pangas and axes to share in the feast.

Mzamani Khosa (52) spotted the huge animals.

“I was collecting firewood when I spotted two elephants in the distance.

“I was terrified to see the beasts but thank God I could run home before they could see me. I called the rangers and was happy when one elephant was killed.”

Mzamani said the elephant meat was an early Christmas for him and his family.

Villager Boyza Munyuku (27) managed to get a whole elephant leg and told the SunTeam: “I’m so excited. I’m going to take a break from eating vegetables for two months. It’s going to be my fresh meat and I!”

SA Wildlife officials said the huge animals were spotted by motorists crossing the border from Zimbabwe to South Africa on Friday.

Rangers were called and started to hunt the animals, but they had disappeared. They were spotted again on Tuesday morning, 1km from Xigalo Village.

Thomas Chauke of SA Wildlife Trade said they killed them as they put lives at risk. “The other elephant is still out there. We appeal to villagers, including farmers and those collecting firewood, to stay away from the bush until it is found.”