45 Zimbabweans killed in human-wildlife conflict
Over 45 Zimbabwe were killed and 40 others injured in human wildlife conflict since the start of 2022, Zimparks says.
Those killed and injured were attacked by elephants, crocodiles and hippos.
More casualties expected as Zimbabwe gets into the dry season where wildlife encroaches into human habitat in search of water.
Most wildlife deaths from elephant confrontation, according to the wildlife management authority.
About 68 people were killed by wildlife last year alone, with authorities expressing concern over soaring numbers.
“We have lost plus 45 lives since January and 40 people have been injured. But as we move into the drier months of the year, less water in the parks and more movement of animals. We are likely to witness more casualties,” Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo told the media on the sidelines of USAID Resilience ANCHORS – Human Wildlife Conflict Workshop.
45 Zimbabweans killed in human-wildlife conflict as elephant population boom
Zimbabwe has nearly 100 000 elephants, making it the second largest elephant population in the world.
This has led to unprecedented human, wildlife conflict , where people have died while communities live in fear.
Zimparks says it will be lobbying for the lift on the ban of elephant and ivory trade during the Cites conference in Panama. The country sits on $600 million worth of ivory, which according to authorities could help with conservation.
“Our problems over the years as Africans, in most cases we are not united. We do not speak with one voice. We have also been pushing as a region to say we are the ones with the animals, listen to us,” Farawo said.
The southern African country has in the past threatened to pull out of Cites following several failed attempts to lift the ban on sales.
CITES banned international trade in ivory in 1989. However, there are still some thriving but unregulated domestic ivory markets in several countries, which fuel an illegal international trade
The Zimbabwean elephant is on Appendix 2 and up-listing it to Appendix 1 would mean the species is now nearing extinction hence lessening prospects of a lift in the ban of trade.