Villagers count losses after elephants devour crops  

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

VILLAGERS of Woodlands Farm near Victoria Falls were left counting their losses after some elephants strayed onto their fields and devoured crops.

The elephants had been roaming the area for the past two weeks.

The worst affected were Baobab and Breakfast villages.

The farm is between Hwange National Park and Chamabondo National Park.

Baobab village head, Charles Mpofu said people in his area were now starring hunger as all their crops were destroyed.

“There is a herd of elephants that has been causing trouble straying into fields at night and destroying crops,” Mpofu said.

“People had planted maize, sunflower, cowpeas watermelons, sweet reeds and other crops but all this is no more.

“All the fields have been left with nothing and farmers are already counting losses.

“We had limited rains this year but our area has black clay soils that keep moisture raising hopes of a good harvest. We appeal to rangers to drive these elephants away,” he said.

Mpofu said besides elephants that destroy crops, villagers have also lost livestock to lions and hyenas.

Zimbabwe National Parks rangers reportedly shot two of the elephants a few days ago after villagers reported the menacing jumbos to the wildlife authority.

Chief Mvuthu, in whose area of jurisdiction Woodlands falls, said the problem of wild animals was not unique to the resettlement farm only.

“They have reported to me and this is one of the challenges our people are facing. Many have lost livestock as well as human life and my advice is that they should report every encounter with wildlife so that we push authorities to act,” said Chief Mvuthu.