KWEKWE‘s Mbizo Section 22 residents are living in fear of a herd of elephants that has been roaming the suburb after trampling to death one of the residents last week.
Alen Mariyo (35) of Section 22 was trampled to death by a bull elephant after it charged at a group of residents, from a nearby mine, who had come out of the houses to have a glimpse of the herd.
Another resident has been left with nursing injuries and is still admitted at Kwekwe District Hospital.
Yesterday, father to the late Mariyo, Timothy Mariyo said the elephant herd was still roaming around the suburb and they were now living in fear they could claim more lives.
Mariyo who also runs a mine nearby said the elephants have been frequenting his mine in search of water.
“We are pumping water at my mine and on the fateful day when my son was killed, a herd of about 10 elephants came to the mine and the people gathered around to have a glimpse of the herd. This was when one bull charged at the crowd and my son was then trampled and killed,” he said.
Mariyo said the residents ran in different directions and the bull chased after his son.
“The bull was wounded and no one knew it had followed my son, he was only found the following day with his clothes tone.
“The bull was also later found dead a few meters from where we found the nude body of my son and it had a huge wound on its back,” he said.
Another resident, Melody Mangava said the whole community was still living in fear as the herd is always seen in the area.
“Officials from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) usually come to do their patrols during the day in search of these jumbos but they have not come across them. It was only recently that a herd of about 10 was seen around Mariyo’s mine. It seems they will be searching for water. After drinking the water, they then roam around the suburb,” she said.
Another resident, Clifford Nyoni said the herd was reportedly spotted in Redcliff on Sunday.
“I got a relative of mine who stays in Torwood, Redcliff who told me that the herd came to the suburb on Sunday night. It’s scary to live with these violent wild animals in the community,” he said.
A Zimparks official who spoke to CommuTalk yesterday said they were still tracking the herd.
Meanwhile, a herd of nine elephants was recently spotted in Shurugwi, a signifier that human-wildlife conflict can become a challenge in the Midlands Province if not swiftly addressed.