Precious Manomano,

Herald via AllAfrica

May 24, 2021
Twenty — seven people have been killed after being attacked by wild animals across the country since January while several others were injured as cases of human-wildlife conflict increase.

Most of the fatalities were recorded in communities near wildlife habitats where animals are increasingly coming into contact with humans after straying in search of food and water.

Elephants accounted for 50 percent of the killings followed by crocodiles at 40 percent with lions and buffaloes at 10 percent.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said that the spike in human-wildlife conflict.

He expressed concern over increasing cases of human-wildlife conflict and the loss of lives.

He predicted that such cases would worsen between now and November as water shortages deepen.

“We have lost 27 lives as from January this year because of wild animals, the animals are not only a danger to humans but their habitat as well. Apart from water shortages, there is over population, which can only be addressed by translocating the animals and move them to less populated areas.

“We are doing awareness campaigns to educate people on what they are supposed to do to protect themselves from wild animals, we also encourage people to minimise movement at night to avoid wild animals because they move a lot during the night,” said Mr Farawo.

There are six animal species that are classified as dangerous in Zimbabwe. These animals are listed in the ninth schedule of the Parks and Wildlife Act. These are buffaloes, elephants, hippos, leopards, lions and rhinoceros.

Last month an elderly man in Mbire was killed by an elephant in his maize field while he was trying to chase it as it was destroying the maize and yesterday a man in Victoria Falls was trampled to death.

Wildlife conservation is also under threat from poachers whose activities have become sophisticated over the years.