A man from Bulilima was trampled to death by an elephant which was part of a herd of three jumbos he provoked while he was with his two friends.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Inspector Philani Ndebele said Moses Ndlovu (31) as well as his two friends Mr Methuseli Sibanda and Mr Magezi Nyathi saw the elephants in a bushy area and tried to drive them to a clearing so that they could take photographs with them.
He said the incident occurred on Saturday at around 9AM in Ndiweni area.
The police spokesperson said the matter was reported on Sunday evening by a passerby who saw Ndlovu’s body lying in the middle of the bush.
“I can confirm an incident of a 31-year-old Bulilima man who was trampled to death by an elephant. Moses Ndlovu saw a herd of three elephants- two females and one bull – in a bushy area in Ndiweni Ward.
“He called his two friends who also stay in the same ward and they attempted to drive the elephants to a clearing at Bhagani Business Centre so they could take pictures with them,” said Insp Ndebele.
He said the elephants charged towards the three men and they fled from the scene.
Insp Ndebele said Ndlovu escaped towards a different direction as the bull pursued him while his two friends went in another direction with the two female elephants in pursuit.
“The bull caught up with Ndlovu and trampled him to death while his two friends escaped unharmed. We assume that Mr Nyathi and Mr Sibanda thought their friend had also escaped as they didn’t report the matter,” said Insp Ndebele.
He said Ndlovu’s body was found the following day by a passerby who reported the matter to the village head.
Police attended the scene on Sunday evening.
Insp Ndebele said Ndlovu sustained multiple injuries all over the body as a result of the elephant attack.
“It is worrying to learn that these men attempted to drive elephants. Jumbos are known to be dangerous animals and what these men did was risky. I would like to urge people to ensure that they take responsibility for their lives and desist from engaging in dangerous acts,” he said.
The area’s village head, Mr Bafana Dube, said community members realised that Ndlovu was missing on Saturday evening, but failed to locate him.
He said after the incident, the elephants were not spotted again in the village which meant that they had moved on.