A 23-year-old Zimbabwean mother and her three-month-old baby were trampled to death by an elephant in the south-eastern region of the country on New Year’s day.
According to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), the elephant has since been put down.
“It is unfortunate that a 23 year old Chipinge woman and her three months old child were trampled to death by an elephant on New Year. Zimparks reacted to the problem elephant,” said Tinashe Farawo, Zimparks spokesperson.
Human-wildlife conflict is common in some rural parts of Zimbabwe.
Zimparks says resource competition between growing human and wildlife populations is a major cause of the human-wildlife conflict.
Owing to population growth, humans are now encroaching on the wildlife territories, some have destroyed security infrastructure within the national game reserves hence animals can now stray into villages easily.
Last year, a 71-year-old tourist from South Africa was trampled to death by an elephant while visiting Zimbabwe’s Mana Pool National Park as his son watched on “in full view”.
The Zimparks said a “tuskless” female elephant charged the tourist and his 41-year-old son as they took a morning walk in the park.
Furthermore, in 2021, authorities in the country said the country will “soon” start selling rights to shoot as many as 500 elephants.
Farawo told American news network CNN that declining tourism revenue owing to the Covid-19 pandemic was among the main reasons for the move.
However, the culling of elephants has drawn resistance from animal rights activists.