Harare, Zimbabwe – A 71-year-old South African tourist in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pool National Park was crushed by an elephant in “full view” of his son, the country’s parks agency said Thursday, adding to another fatality with an elephant in a different park. A few days after the encounter.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Pharavo told the Associated Press that this week a “tuskless” female elephant charged the tourist and her 41-year-old son for a morning walk in the park.
Mana Pool is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its spectacular setting along the Zambezi River and its surrounding floodplain with elephants and other wildlife.
Faravo said Michael Bernard Walsh, a Cape Town veterinarian, was a “loyal tourist” who had been visiting the mind pool “almost every year” for the past 35 years.
The father and son duo had left their car about 40 meters (44 yards) away from the scene. “Due to age, unfortunately, the old man could not escape from the vehicle. His son saw that the elephant had killed his father,” Faraw said.
“We are extremely concerned because two people have died in one week alone,” he said, referring to a previously fatal incident in which an anti-poaching coordinator with a conservation group was crushed by an elephant at Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe. was given.
Chatur Kapandura, an operations coordinator for the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, an NGO, was part of a team of scouts deployed to investigate reports of a possible poaching incident. “For some unknown reason” an elephant bull charged from about 120 meters (130 yards) away caught and killed the man, the organization said in a statement.
Zimbabwe’s national parks and environmental groups have been reporting increasing cases of conflict between humans and wildlife in recent years. Faravo said that so far this year, more than 40 people have died in Zimbabwe from such clashes in parks and other rural areas.
Like other parks in Zimbabwe, Myna Pool experiences hot, dry weather at this time of year, providing food and water sources for thousands of elephants, lions, buffaloes, zebras, wild dogs, hyenas, zebras, elands and other animals. limits.
As a result, the animals enter neighboring human communities in search of water, crops and livestock for food, Faravo said.
There are an estimated 85,000 elephants in Zimbabwe and over 130,000 in neighboring Botswana. Both countries have the largest elephant populations in the world. Two southern African countries say they are struggling to deal with rising elephant numbers and are pressing to be allowed to sell their stockpile of ivory confiscated from poachers. He says the money raised from the sale of ivory will be used for conservation and decongestion in drought-hit parks.
Other African countries, notably Kenya, are opposed to any sale of ivory.
“We now seem like a broken record,” Faravo said, saying that our animals, especially elephants, are overpopulated and they are threatening themselves by destroying their own habitat and They are killing people too.” “We receive distress calls from communities almost every day.”
Zimbabwe’s Parks Agency said it has no plans to export elephant cubs to China, denying recent reports from a wildlife conservation group. Zimbabwe was criticized a few years ago for sending elephants to China where they were kept in zoos.