The Sunday News
Sindisiwe Sibanda, Sunday News Reporter
A HERD of elephants is wreaking havoc in Lupane, Matabeleland North, where it is destroying crops and putting lives of villagers at risk.
The elephants, numbering about 40, have dashed any hopes for farmers as they have destroyed the little that had been left of the maize crops.
Kusile Rural District Council chief executive officer Mr Christopher Chuma confirmed receiving the report and said council had sent wildlife agents to drive the elephants away.
“We received reports from the villagers complaining about the elephants that have been destroying their crops.
“We believe that these elephants are coming from Hwange National Park. However, through our Problem Animal Control (PAC) programme we have already shot three elephants to deal with this matter,” said Mr Chuma.
Mr Chuma said elephants were on the hunt for food and warned villagers to be cautious as the animals can be a danger to people.
However, one of the villagers Mr Pholisa Ndebele said their concerns had not yet been responded to.
“We tried seeking help from the National Park but it was all in vain until the council came to our rescue and shot three troublesome elephants in these two villages,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Mr Tinashe Farawo said they received the report and a team of officers was sent to cover the ground.
“Our team was sent to cover the ground about two weeks ago but unfortunately when they reached the area these elephants had already vacated the area,” said Farawo
Recently, villagers in Zhombe and Melsonia in Zibagwe were left counting their losses after marauding elephants destroyed their crops.