Human-Wildlife Conflict Surge In Mbire
Mbire Rural District Council (RDC) says this year they are experiencing an increase in wild animals coming from Mozambique resulting in an escalation of human-wildlife conflict.
Mbire chief executive officer Mr Cloudius Majaya, said they are also raising awareness on wild animal behaviour and how communities can co-exist with wild animals.
Five crocodiles have been eliminated in Mbire district following attacks on six people, two of them sustained serious injuries since the onset of the current rainy season.
Last week, a 60-year-old Maines Matias from Kagokotoro village in Mbire was gored into pieces by an elephant while looking for water. Majaya said:
We have killed five crocodiles for attacking six people, two of them fatally. Although there is no record of casualties to crocodile attacks we are trying to move people away from rivers.
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Most of our people earn their livelihood from fishing and gardening in the river banks of major rivers, Hunyani, Angwa and Zambezi.
We are in the process of repairing an ambulance which will be based at Mushumbi Pools for use during fatalities caused by human and wildlife conflict.
Majaya said following the depression Ana which hit Mbire, large crocodiles are migrating upstream to Mbire to avoid swampy areas.
Also, large herds of elephants are migrating from Mozambique to Mbire where they graze on farmers’ crops.
Measures to manage eventualities:
1). Mbire RDC arranged to transport victims to the hospital and pay their medical bills.
2). It is increasing the number of boreholes to remove people from river banks and ensure that water is easily accessible.
3). It is training personnel who are working closely with Zimparks in dealing with cases of human-wildlife conflict.
ZimParks spokesperson, Mr Tinashe Farawo, said last year 68 people were killed by wild animals while 79 were injured mostly by crocodiles and elephants.
He said 30 cases were by crocodiles, 24 by elephants. Wild animals also killed 319 cattle, 27 donkeys and 429 goats.
More: The Herald