By Judith Sibanda
Hwange, August 10, 2016 – A 25-year-old Bulawayo man was trampled to death by a female elephant in Hwange National Park after dropping off from the vehicle to take pictures.
The incident was confirmed by chief Wange adding that the deceased, Stephen Coetzee was in the company of his brother, Christian and another female friend at Guvalala area about 24 kilometres from Main Camp.
Chief Wange said the trio had entered the Park through Sinamatela Platform and they had intended to exit the Main Camp gate and that is when they came across a herd of elephants and Stephen disembarked from the vehicle to take pictures.
Unbeknown to him, there were some elephants which were yet to cross the road and that was the time a female elephant with a calf approached and immediately attacked the deceased by tossing him up to the ground before trampling him.
Coetzee’s body has since been taken to the Hwange Colliery Mortuary.
Meanwhile, in a different incident, there was exchange of gunfire at Panda Masuie Forest Area in Victoria Falls on Tuesday between two rangers and five Zambian poachers which led to the accused escaping, leaving 8 elephant tusks covered in blankets, a leading conservation group has said.
“Contact in the panda Masuie forest Area between two forestry rangers and five Zambian Poachers. After the gun fire, the poachers got away and later crossed the Zambezi back into Zambia ahead of the pursuing parks rangers, but they dropped eight tusks which were recovered. At least they had no reward for their excursion. The blankets wrapped around the tusks were shoulder pads,” said Trevor Lane of Bhejane Trust.