Jumbo tramples man to death

Source: Jumbo tramples man to death | The Herald August 10, 2016

Herald Reporter

A tourist Mr Stephen Coetzee (25) was trampled to death by a female elephant in the Hwange National Park on Monday. Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo, confirmed the death. She said Mr Coetzee who was in the company of his brother Christian, was attacked about 24 kilometres from Main Camp towards Guvalala Platform in Hwange National Park.“Stephen Coetzee was in the company of his brother Christian Coetze, and a female friend and had gone for a day visit in Hwange National Park when the unfortunate and sad incident happened,” she said.

“The trio, all Zimbabweans who reside in Bulawayo, entered Hwange National Park through Sinamatella and had intended to exit through the Main Camp Gate. It is alleged that six kilometres after Guvalala Platform, the trio came across a herd of elephants and the now deceased is alleged to have disembarked from the vehicle to take pictures, unbeknown to him that there was yet some elephants, which were yet to cross the road.”

Ms Washaya-Moyo added: “It is at that point that a female elephant appeared from the blind side attacking and killing Stephen on the spot. A report was quickly made to the police in Dete and the deceased‘s body has been taken to Hwange Colliery Mortuary.”

The unfortunate incident happened at a time when Zimbabwe is fighting the proposed up-listing of its elephants from Appendix II to Appendix I.

If the proposal sails through at the forthcoming CoP17 to be held in South Africa next month, Zimbabwe and other countries will be banned from commercial hunting and trading of elephants and lions.

Zimbabwe is arguing that the proposal among other things could fuel human-wildlife conflict in communities adjacent to game parks.

The country has since rejected the proposal and is lobbying other countries to block the proposal.

Currently, it is estimated that Zimbabwe has a population of 84 000 elephants, which is beyond the country’s carrying capacity.

People adjacent to game parks have also opposed the proposed ban, saying they were benefiting from wildlife conservation activities in their areas.


  • comment-avatar

    While I’m truly sorry for Mr. Coetzee and his family, we should be reminded that he voluntarily put himself into a very hazardous position. He should never have exited his vehicle in a National Park to photograph elephants at close quarters. That female elephant was doing nothing more than protecting her family. It would be a real tragedy if she were to be branded as a “man-killer” and ordered to be shot by park rangers

  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 6 years ago

    Ah yes, NEVER get in a herd of wild animals, elephants, buch, warthogs or whatever. If you inadvertently get between a mother and her offspring, she will go for you.

  • comment-avatar
    Barry 6 years ago

    Probably happens a lot more often than we think.

    It’s good the media managed to shift the focus to what the government stands to lose through CITES though. Good effort!