Zim elephant euthanised after firecracker scare - conservation group

2015-09-29 20:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

I won't protect corrupt officials, says Mugabe
I won't protect corrupt officials, says Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has said that he won't be protecting any government officials accused of corruption, adding that those accused of graft must, however, be given a chance to answer for their crimes in a court of law, reports say.

Harare - Rangers in northern Zimbabwe have had to euthanise an elephant which broke its leg after being startled by a firecracker, a conservation group says.

In a case that highlights the ongoing difficulties of human-wildlife conflict in game-rich areas, the bull elephant had a firecracker thrown at him on Saturday night in Chawara, a commercial area of the resort town of Kariba, an official from the Kariba Animal Welfare Trust (KAWFT) said.

As he moved away in fright, he fell and hurt his leg, said Debbie Ottman in a telephone interview.

"There was an empty septic tank. With his weight, he crashed through that," she said. "We think he was about 50 [years-old]."

Officials from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority were called. The bull, which was well-known in the area, was unable to get up. He had to be put down on Sunday.

Ottman said attempts were being made to increase the use of chilli-guns in the area. The gun fires a concentrated ball of chilli oil at an elephant that encroaches into "human territory". The resulting sting hopefully teaches the elephant not to trespass into that area again.

Some animal lovers reacted angrily to news of the elephant's death.

"Firecrackers should be banned... they cause so much distress/injury to animals... very sad for this bull elephant...," one woman posted to KAWFT's Facebook page.

But Ottman emphasised the difficulties faced by Kariba residents, who often live in close proximity to big game. 

In an illustration of this, a resident of Kariba's Nyamhunga township was attacked by an elephant on Friday night. She had walked out of her house to speak to someone and did not see the elephant in the dark, the trust said in an update to Facebook. She was understood to be recovering in hospital.

A man was reported killed by an elephant near a shopping centre in Kariba in March this year.

Ottman said: "It's very difficult to stop people using these [fire] crackers." 

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.