A Zimbabwean man has been trampled to death by an elephant in the top resort town of Victoria Falls, the authorities announced on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old man was a curio seller in the town. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement that he was killed on Sunday.
The man, who was with a friend, came face-to-face with a female elephant with a calf.
“It is reported that the elephant charged at them and the two tried to escape, [but] unfortunately one was attacked and killed,” said the parks authority.
The state-run Chronicle newspaper identified the dead man as Member Ncube.
Ncube’s friend and fellow curio seller, Cornwell Nkomo, told the paper that before the incident, they had taken refuge in a secluded spot to evade police officers. They were apparently not supposed to be in the area.
The two men stumbled upon the elephant while on their way back to the Big Tree – a large Baobab that is a local landmark popular with tourists.
Nkomo said he and Ncube fled in different directions after the elephant charged. Ncube’s body was later found by game rangers.
The Chronicle reported that vendors who sold their wares near the Big Tree are “usually involved in running battles with the police and [national parks] rangers as people are not allowed in the area without being accompanied by guides because of the dangers posed by wild animals”.
A Zimbabwean professional guide, Quinn Swales, was killed by a lion in Hwange National Park on Monday. News24.com