The stray elephants, according to police officials, invaded the police owned Eland Farm in Matabeleland North on Sunday evening, and destroyed all planted crops.
Acting Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Sergeant Eglon Nkala said seven stray elephants destroyed the boundary fence to gain entrance into the farm and ruined planted crops.
“The crops were under irrigation and were all ruined by the stray elephants. The elephants destroyed an extensive hectarage of crops, most of which was maize,” Sergeant Nkala said.
Sergeant Nkala – who appealed to the Wildlife Parks and Management Authority to drive off the elephants – said stray elephants were a ‘nuisance’ in Inyathi as they continue to destroy villagers planted crops.
Parks and Wildlife management Authority spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo could not be reached for comment on the statistics of stray elephants and the current elephant population inn the country.
Zimbabwe’s elephant population continues to balloon but independent conservationist groups accuse government officials of inflating the figures so as to benefit from ivory trade.
Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwean Conservation Taskforce has said the elephant population had fallen to 60,000 at the most, yet the government puts the figure at more than 100,000.
Rodrigues has said corrupt officials wanted to dupe the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) into allowing Zimbabwe to continue trading in ivory, alleging that corrupt government officials are believed to have stockpiled ivory from animals shot in national parks and private game parks seized from their white owners.