Tourist, 71, crushed to death by elephant in front of his son in Zimbabwe park
A 71-year-old South African tourist was trampled to death in front of his son by an elephant in a safari park in Zimbabwe.
Cape Town vet Michael Bernard Walsh was sued by the ‘tuskless’ female elephant at Mana Pools.
The ‘loyal tourist’, who has visited the park almost every year for the past 35 years, took a morning walk with his 41-year-old son at the time.
A 71-year-old South African tourist was trampled to death by an elephant in front of his son in Mana Pools (Photo: File image of elephants in the park)
The couple had left their car about 40 meters from the scene of the incident.
Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said: ‘Due to age, the old man was unfortunately unable to escape to the vehicle. His son watched as the elephant killed his father.
“We are very concerned because two people have died in one week alone,” he said, referring to a previous fatal accident in which a wildlife conservation coordinator for a poaching campaign was trampled to death by an elephant in Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe.
Clever Kapandura, an operations coordinator for the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, a non-governmental organization, was part of a team of scouts deployed to investigate reports of a potential poaching incident.
Clever Kapandura (pictured), an operations coordinator for the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, was killed by an elephant in Zimbabwe earlier this week
‘For an unknown reason’ an elephant bull attacked from about 130 meters away, grabbed the man and killed him.
Zimbabwe’s national parks and environmental groups have been reporting increasing cases of conflict between humans and wildlife in recent years.
According to Farawo, more than 40 people have died so far this year in such conflicts in parks and other rural areas in Zimbabwe.
Like other parks in Zimbabwe, Mana Pools experiences hot, dry weather at this time of year, becoming the food and water sources for the thousands of elephants, lions, buffalo, zebras, wild dogs, hyenas, zebras, moose and other animals. limited.
As a result, the animals make forays into neighboring human communities in search of water, crops and livestock for food, Farawo said.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 85,000 elephants and Botswana has more than 130,000. The two countries have the world’s largest elephant populations.
Cape Town vet Michael Bernard Walsh was sued by the ‘tuskless’ female elephant in the park (file image)
The two South African countries say they are struggling to cope with the huge numbers of elephants and are pushing to sell their stock of ivory tusks seized by poachers.
They say the money raised from the sale of ivory would be used to conserve and ease congestion in the drought-stricken parks.
Other African countries, especially Kenya, are against any sale of ivory.
“We are now sounding like a broken record saying that our animals, especially elephants, are overpopulated and that they are becoming a danger to themselves by destroying their own habitat and that they are also killing people,” Farawo said. “We get emergency calls from communities almost every day.”
Zimbabwe’s parks agency said it has no plans to export baby elephants to China, denying recent reports from a conservation organization.
Zimbabwe was criticized a few years ago for sending elephants to China where they were placed in zoos.