By Mary Taruvinga/Felix Matasva
A MOTHER (22) and her six-month-old baby was trampled to death by a stray elephant on New Year’s Day in Kushinga B village under Chief Musikavanhu, Chipinge.
Shylet Muyambo (22) died on the spot with her female infant baby when a jumbo trampled them to death close to her matrimonial home.
Police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Wiseman Chinyoka confirmed the incident, which occurred on 1 January.
Circumstances indicate Muyambo was coming from her sister’s Charity Muyambo (25) homestead in the same village, at around 1800hrs when the elephant charged towards them.
Chinyoka said the deceased’s relatives were alerted by loud cries for help that a stray elephant was on the loose attacking the duo.
“Charity and her husband Simbarashe Kumbula heard Shylet’s cries for help, but only found her and the child lying lifeless on the ground when they approached the scene. After the matter was reported to Chisumbanje Police Station the two bodies were taken to St Peter’s Hospital where they were pronounced dead,” Chinyoka said.
Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo also confirmed the fateful incident.
He said the victims had travelled to a neighbouring community visiting relatives when they met a herd of elephants.
“It is unfortunate that a Chipinge woman and her three months old child were trampled to death by an elephant on New Year,” Farawo said.
“The woman had visited her relatives in the neighbouring community and she was on her way back when she met the herd of elephants and was attacked by one, which killed her on the spot together with her baby.”
Farawo said the marauding elephant had since been killed.
According to official statistics, 40 people were killed by elephants between January and October last year.
Farawo told NewZimbabwe.com they are engaging in public awareness as the overpopulation of elephants and other wildlife in areas around conservancies continue leading to fatal accidents.
“We are moving around communities, advising them about animal behaviour and the awareness entails what to do when they come across elephants, lions and crocodiles. When they come across these animals they must avoid close proximity,” he said.
“The population of elephants in Zimbabwe’s South-East Lowveld is increasing. Something needs to be done to solve this problem we are facing in our wildlife sector.”