By Felix Matasva, Manicaland Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) has urged villagers in Marange area of Mutare West constituency to be on high alert after a herd of buffaloes strayed into the area.
This follows an earlier incident in which a herd of stray elephants besieged the area last week, resulting Zimparks rangers putting down two of them to avert a possible human-wildlife conflict.
Buffaloes are deadly, highly temperamental animals that can attack human beings on sight and do not need any provocation.
Zimparks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the matter to NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday saying the buffaloes could have strayed from Save Valley Conservancy which hosts ‘The Big Five’.
“We are working with Mutare Rural District council on the ground to ensure that we can capture the buffaloes back into the parks. These animals are not only a threat to people’s lives or crops since they have a risk of transferring diseases especially foot and mouth,” Farawo said.
He added the buffaloes spotted around Chiadzwa area, using the same route as the elephants.
Farawo urged communities in Marange to minimise movements during the night so as to avoid conflicts with stray wild animals.
“Villagers must give these animals some space and allow them to move freely. The animals feel threatened if they are attacked. Communities must ensure that they provide as much information as possible so that we rescue them within the shortest possible time,” he said.
Farawo noted that there also is need to balance the human and wildlife population in order to curb incidents of human-wildlife conflicts in Zimbabwe.
“If we look back maybe 20 years ago, our human population was not what it is today even that of our wildlife. Human and wildlife population is expanding while the country has not expanded so those problems are bound to happen,” said Farawo.