Zimbabwe

Baby elephant killed in car accident near Zim tourist town - conservationists

2016-05-12 13:37

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Harare - An elephant calf, running to catch up with the rest of her herd, has been killed in a heart-breaking road accident near Zimbabwe's popular tourist town of Kariba, a conservation group reports.

The Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust (KAWFT) said the elephant "came running out of the bush across the road" near Kariba airport and was hit by a car.

The accident happened on Sunday.

The trust said it appeared that the calf had bceome separated from the rest of the herd "and was running to find her family".

The driver - a local resident - alerted officials from the national wildlife authority, who came to the scene. They reported seeing a herd of elephants nearby.

Debbie Ottman of KAWFT told News24 that the calf may have been between one year and 18 months old. 

Elephants, zebras and other game are frequently seen in Kariba, which lies on the shores of Lake Kariba, a fishing and boating paradise.

The trust is fighting to minimise conflict between humans and wildlife and to raise awareness of the need for careful driving in and around the town.

Ottman said road accidents like this happened "at least once a year".

"It rips me apart," she said.

In this case, the driver was a longtime Kariba resident who was "respectful" of wildlife in the area, the trust said. In August 2015, a baby elephant was hit by a bus in Kariba. Nicknamed "Kariba" and badly injured, the elephant was flown out to an elephant nursery near Harare where he was operated on by vets from the AWARE wildlife trust. Sadly he died on the operating table.

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