Residents busy cutting the pieces from the elephants that were shot by the rangers. Photo supplied
Four elephants that were roaming around Ha-Gumbu and surrounding villages were tracked and shot by rangers last Friday.
The elephants, who came across the border from Zimbabwe, sent shockwaves through the area as the lives of residents were under constant threat. The residents complained that the elephants came out mostly in the dark and had uprooted crops, fences, and irrigation pipes of the local farmers. Almost every household owns a garden for self-sustenance, and small-scale commercial farming thrives here. The invasion by the elephants was giving the villagers sleepless nights.
Local farmer Ms Salphina Mudau said that her crops had been destroyed by the roaming elephants. “I am still planting on another side, but I am not sure if I will harvest and make a profit,” Mudau said. She said that since the invasion escalated, she no longer left her farm late in the day because she feared that once the sun went down, the elephants would move in for grazing and she could get hurt. “When we go home, the elephants move in and start eating our crops. We are no longer safe,” said Mudau. She said that they wanted the government to compensate them for the damage caused by the elephants. She said that they were now relieved that the elephants had been found and killed.
Like many farmers in the area, community spokesperson Mawahsane Mudzweda is still traumatised by one incident in which an elephant trampled and killed a man who had gone into the bush to look for his cattle. Although no statistics were available, villagers said a few people had been killed by the huge beasts. “These elephants move from Zimbabwe to our areas. Last year, rangers had to kill one that was terrorising our neighbouring village,” said Mudzweda.
Date:10 July 2020 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.