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Another Vic Falls resident trampled to death by an elephant

A Victoria Falls man was trampled to death by an elephant on Friday, the second incident in a week as cases of human-wildlife conflict continues to rise.

This has prompted residents in the resort city to call upon Zimparks to erect a fence separating residential areas and the surrounding national parks.

Victoria Falls is surrounded by Zambezi National Park and Chamabondo National Park on the south, west and northern sides while the eastern side is also an animal corridor into the Zambezi River.

Residents have said they now live in fear of elephants that freely roam the streets, especially at night.

A majority of Victoria Falls residents work night shifts in the tourism industry and putting them in danger of encountering the jumbos on their way home.

Israel Ndaba (36) of Mfelandawonye suburb but originally from Ntabazinduna was allegedly trampled to death on Friday as he walked home from work at night.

This is the second incident following a similar attack on another resident Obert Sigola on May 7.

Sigola was attacked by a lone jumbo which killed him within the yard of the Zionist Church of Christ also in Mkhosana suburb.

He was coming from a beer drink bar.

On Friday, Ndaba, a father of two, was coming from work at Tich Hardware where he was employed.

“He was going home and already within reach of the house when he was attacked,” said his cousin Thokozani Mpofu.

Ndaba left behind a wife and two minor children, a situation which residents said is painful for a family to lose a breadwinner to animals.

Addressing mourners at Ndaba’s Hwange West MP Godfrey Dube implored Zimparks to come up with strategies ending conflict.

“We are grieving the loss of our two members of the community within a week due to an elephant attack. As a way forward, we have suggested that Zimparks, working hand in hand with Victoria Falls City Council must erect a perimeter fence and create game corridors with funding coming from our own God-given natural resources which is the Rainforest and wildlife,” said Dube.

He challenged Zimparks to conduct daily patrols to protect residents while those that have lost their relatives or property must be compensated.

Local companies should also provide door-to-door transport service for their workers to protect them from attack by animals as they walk home at night.

“They cannot just be collecting money to Harare without benefiting locals. Money from the Rainforest should benefit locals and Victoria Falls City Council should make an application to government to get a share of the proceeds from it,” said Dube.

Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association chair Kelvin Moyo concurred that Zimparks should patrol the area.

“We appreciate that we are in a national park but we can’t continue oozing lives. Zimparks should patrol around especially at night so that they drive away these animals. Yes they may say people should be careful because we are in a park but it is their obligation to keep animals away from people,” he said.

Zimparks has said 35 people have been killed by wild animals in the country between January and last week.

This comes as the wildlife authority battles overpopulation animals especially elephants, with an estimated population of more than 45 000 in Hwange National Park against a carrying capacity of 15 000 elephants.

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