By Sheron Tazvivinga
Elephants have become a menace in Zvishavane as they are destroying crops and irrigation canals in search of food and water.
The situation has been caused by the crippling drought the country is currently facing, consequently leading wild animals to search for food in residential areas.
It has been reported that more than 55 elephants have starved to death in the past two months due to food and water shortages.
“The problem is real the situation is dire water reservoirs have dried up and grazing lands are no longer adequate to cater for the big herds.
“This has forced elephants to venture into human settlements in search of water leading to them destroying irrigation canals and crops,” said National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Spokesperson Tinashe Farawo.
Villagers in Zvishavane have been left counting losses after elephants would have raided their crops.
The drought comes at a time when Zimbabwe is faced with a collapsed economy this has resulted in food and water shortages.
This has left many families in Zvishavane having to succumb to food shortages.
In retaliation for crop raids villagers are reportedly resorting to killing elephants as a means to reduce their losses.
“It is because of these invasions that villagers end up killing or injuring the elephants in the area,” reiterated Farawo.
At a May Summit held in Botswana officials said that they would coordinate efforts to survey elephant populations to monitor them.
They noted that conflicts between the animals and humans are likely to increase as a result of climate change pressures and increasing competition for limited resources.