Elephants roam Ondjongolume area

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Oshakati – Officials in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism are making efforts to relocate a herd of four elephants from the area of Ondjongolume and Onkani in Omusati Region.

The ministry official responsible for conservation in Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati and Ohangwena has called on the people in Onkani and Ondjongolume area to be patient, as all efforts are being made to relocate the beasts that could imperil lives.

Rehabeam Erikki told NBC Oshiwambo radio service the issue has been reported to the Ministry of Environment’s head office in Windhoek, so that appropriate action can be taken to deal with the animals.

The elephants inhabit the Omusati Region, “where they have been grazing in Omuhama, Amaupa and Okatikawa in good times, and are part of wildlife found in the community conservancy in the region,” Erikki was heard saying on NBC.

He further said the elephants normally graze and feed in the vicinity of Ruacana Constituency, but due to the lack of water and food trekked to Onkani and Ondjongolume, where there is water.

“They are not from the Etosha or Angola. Omusati Region, in particular the Ruacana constituency, is their home,” Erikki stressed. He observed that elephants can smell the presence of water from far, which is why they trekked a long distance in search of the water in the area where they are at the moment.

He said the elephants in the area consist of two cows, one bull and a calf. They moved through Okahao Constituency and ended up staying in the bushy part of Ondjongolume.

On their way the animals are reported to have broken some fences and eaten crops of communal farmers in their path, because the area where they moved to was still new to them.

He said elephants are not aggressive if left alone, but can be if disturbed, threatened or agitated.
Erikki urged the community not to take the law into their own hands in response to elephants damaging their infrastructure and crops, but to report these to the authorities to deal with.

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