Zimbabwe’s dilemma over deadly elephant attacks

Tinashe Farawo had the grim task of delivering the mutilated body of a 30-year-old farmer who had been trampled to death by an elephant in northern Zimbabwe to his distraught family.

It is something that Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers have to do all too frequently as they police a battle between humans and encroaching wildlife. The farmer from Mbire district was one of 46 people killed by wild animals in Zimbabwe this year.

Hwange National Park, the country’s large nature reserve spanning 14,600 sq km (5,637 sq miles) in north-western Zimbabwe, has the capacity to sustain 15,000 elephants.

Yet officials say the population there now stands at around 55,000, with many straying into surrounding areas in search of food and water.

And the jumbos are greedy – a single elephant consumes up to 200 litres (44 gallons) of water a day and around 400kg (about 62st) of tree leaves and bark – causing great distress to already impoverished subsistence…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk