By Andile Tshuma
Tragedy has befallen two families after their children were trampled to death by elephants while several others were hospitalised in two unrelated incidents this week.
The tragic incidents occurred between Monday and Tuesday in Mbire District, Mashonaland Central Province.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management National Spokesperson, Mr Tinashe Farawo, confirmed the incidents and said rangers were searching for the jumbos.
“We are very sad at the unfortunate death of two people who were trampled by elephants. We have since sent out a search team to find the animal(s) so that they can be gunned down,” he said.
Mr Farawo said the Parks and Wildlife Management suspected that it was the same jumbo in both incidents as the incidents had occurred within close proximity. It is not known what could have provoked the animal.
Mr Farawo said in the first incident, a woman was working in the fields while in the company of her minor daughter whose age was not disclosed but was said to be in primary school.
They were attacked by the jumbo and the mother failed to save the girl from the animal.
In the second incident, a group of boys was attacked by an elephant suspected to be the same animal that attacked the first victims, in the same village.
The elephant trampled on a number of boys.
One died on the spot while several others, whose number could not be immediately verified, were rushed to hospital.
The matter was reported to Mbire Police Station.
The Zimparks spokesperson said the elephant had become a problem animal and would have to be gunned down.
“We are tracking down the elephant since it has become a menace and once we locate it, it will be put down as we feel that it is now a danger to communities,” he said.
Last year, a 50-year-old man employed as an elephant handler by a Victoria Falls tour operator was killed by one of the elephants that he handled.
Mr Enock Kufandada was killed by the domesticated jumbo in July last year while carrying out his duties.
The elephant, nicknamed Mbanje, was gunned down by Zimparks rangers following the attack. The Chronicle