Man kills elephant in ‘self-defence’

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John Muyamba

Rundu-A man at Mushangara village in Bwabwata National Park reportedly shot and killed an elephant bull between 15h00 and 16h00 on Sunday afternoon in self-defence.
“The shooting occurred after an elephant herd destroyed half a crop field which the man looked after. After he shot the elephant in self-defence the family reported the incident to me. I then informed the environment officials in the area and we visited the site on Sunday morning,” narrated Mukwe Constituency Councillor John Thighuru.

Bwabwata National Park as a multipurpose park has several San communities who have villages within the park where they engage in subsistence crop and livestock farming.

According to Thighuru the young man, who was identified as Timoteus Matjokwe, was left with a gun by his elderly brother George Matjokwe on Saturday to look after the field which he did. Usually the elephants are scared away when shots are fired into the air but the young man was unfortunately too close to the herd and just as he shot into the sky the elephant bull got wind of him and tried to attack him. He tried to run but the charging beast was undeterred by the volley of shots and the man shot and killed the jumbo.

“The elderly brother went to get his pension grant – that is when he left his young brother to look after the field but fortunately enough he was not killed in the process when he was attacked but had to shoot the elephant point-blank,” Thighuru told New Era.

The village is one of the many villages situated within the Bwabwata National Park where human wildlife-conflict is frequently reported.

Thighuru further said that the crop fields of seven families have been destroyed by herds of marauding elephants.

“With the good rain people in the constituency have gone out of their way to plough large fields but elephants are destroying them,” Thighuru added.
The police are investigating the incident.

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