ELEPHANTS and buffalo herds are terrorising Victoria Falls residents amid fears that if they are not controlled, life could be lost as they have a history of trampling and goring people.
Nokuthaba Dlamini / Richard Muponde
Residents from the low-density suburb, popularly known as Emayadini, say they live in fear as a herd of about 10 elephants roam in the area every day, particularly the area behind Baobab Primary School where trees they favour can be found.
Reports are that they also charge at pupils.
A resident who lives in the area, who only identified herself as Forgy, said the animals were becoming a menace and it was only a matter of time before someone got killed in the area.
“They come every day, especially at midnight. To make matters worse, my yard is not enclosed so they come directly into the yard,” she said.
“There is a tree whose leaves they like so every day they are in my yard and it’s frightening.”
However, in Mkhosana, Garikai and Mfelandawonye, the residents said they were being terrorised by buffalos.
Buffalos, according to studies, are ill-tempered and can charge even when not provoked. Residents in these suburbs said the buffalos, numbering about 20, invade their suburbs every evening and they now feared for their lives.
Dangerous animals in the resort town have a record of killing and seriously injuring residents.
In April, a 32-year-old man was trampled by elephants while walking home from a beer drink.
Another, Stephen Mathe, was trampled at about 8pm in Chinotimba suburb on his way to visit his family in Monde village.
In March, a 55-year-old man from Chinotimba survived a buffalo attack and was left with three broken ribs and a deep scar on the forehead.
Efforts to get a comment from Zimparks spokesperson Caroline Washaya–Moyo were fruitless as she could not be reached on her mobile phone.
Victoria Falls residents’ association chairperson, Morgan Gaza Dube, complained over the inaction by authorities, particularly Zimparks’ failure to move the animals away from residential areas.
“We are surrounded by wild animals and it’s a risk,” he said.
“When we try to advise the Zimparks to protect us from the dangerous animals, they say Victoria Falls is within a nationals park, so the animals will be in their territory. We want to live in harmony not in fear. Since the beginning of the year, there are people who have been attacked by these wild animals and some even killed.”
Dube said they would seek audience with the parks authorities to find a solution.
Meanwhile, Dube urged residents of the town to avoid walking at night and not to provoke the beasts. He added that people must go and report to nearby authorities if they encounter with wild animals.