Tragedy Strikes as Elephant Attack Claims Life of Hwange Guard-
A 30-year-old Lydia Dube, a security guard on duty at Chaba Mine in Hwange on Friday, fell victim to a fatal elephant attack. Dube, while guarding a broken-down crane, was ambushed by an elephant lurking unnoticed behind her as she headed towards the guard room.
Despite valiant efforts by her colleagues who discovered her alive but seriously injured, Dube succumbed to her injuries upon arrival at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo. The incident has ignited concerns over the escalating human-wildlife conflict in the area.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers swiftly responded by euthanizing the elephant. Residents in the mining town’s concession areas are now urging authorities to address the growing issue of human-wildlife conflict promptly.
Sources revealed that residents are pointing fingers at mining companies for the surge in such cases. Mr. Micah Ndlovu from Lusumbami Village expressed deep concern, stating, “We are now experiencing more visits by wild animals than before, and we no longer feel very safe.”
Elephants have imposed curfews in various areas, restricting human movements after 6 pm. Some residents criticized Zimparks for inadequate efforts in controlling problematic animals, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to prevent further tragedies.
The Greater Hwange Residents Trust (GWRT) disclosed ongoing engagements with Zimparks, highlighting conflicts over jurisdiction and control. Ms. Sithembinkosi Ndhlovu, a GWRT programs officer, expressed uncertainty about the capacity of both Zimparks and the Colliery to effectively address the issue.
Zimparks spokesperson Mr. Tinashe Farawo confirmed the unfortunate incident, acknowledging its sadness. The incident underscores the pressing need for coordinated efforts between authorities, mining companies, and communities to mitigate the increasing human-wildlife conflict in the region.