Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has embarked on an awareness campaign in Victoria Falls to teach residents about animal behaviour to avoid cases of people being killed by wild animals that invade residential areas.
The campaign has been necessitated by recent reports the authority received from residents of marauding elephants and buffalos that are invading residential areas and the Central Business District (CBD) over the past week.
The beasts have reportedly wreaked havoc in the city where they are destroying tuckshops and vegetable gardens leaving residents fearing for their lives after jumbos previously killed residents.
Zimparks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development.
“We can confirm that we have been receiving a lot of reports from Victoria Falls where elephants are straying into suburbs. What we are doing, we are carrying out a lot of awareness, teaching our people about animal behaviour,” Mr Farawo said.
“We are also saying to the communities that they must minimise movements at night. They must also not provoke the elephants and also appreciate that it is simply difficult to bring down those elephants in communities where people reside. We don’t want to create a situation where we provoke the elephants and at the end of the day create a problem.”
He said residents should always be cautious, especially as the country moves into the drier months of the year as they are going to witness frequent invasions by elephants in search of water.
“This time of the year, right up to the onset of the rainy season, we are going to have more elephants visiting them. You know elephants can actually smell water from a distance of 10 kilometres and many water sources within the parks are getting dry. The animals will then move into communities in search of water. Like I said we are doing a lot of campaigns to make sure we preserve lives. We don’t want to unnecessarily lose lives both human and animal,” he said.