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A peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants is possible, says Muyunda

A peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants is possible, says Muyunda

Placido Hilukilwa

HUMANS have to learn to peacefully coexist with wild animals such as elephants, said Romeo Muyunda, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism following an incident in which one person was killed by an elephant in the Otjorute area of the Omusati Region last week.

The 48-year-old Angolan national, Pau Kanyome, who was employed as a domestic worker, was trampled to death while busy, with three others, chasing the jumbos from a mahangu field shortly before midnight.

PICTURED: Spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda. Photo: Contributed

Muyunda said that chasing elephants is not advisable. Doing so at night when it is dark only increases the danger.

He said that the Ministry encourages the use of traditional methods of scaring off the jumbo. Beating drums and lighting fires are some of the effective ways of scaring elephants.

Muyunda said that those who own guns can fire shots in the air to scare them. “Just beware of making them angry,” he warned.

He said that last week’s incident was the first fatality in a long time in the area.

According to him, elephants too are residents of the area. Their conflict with humans erupts mostly during this time of the year, more so when the rain was insufficient and elephants start moving around looking for food and water. They damage water points and destroy crops and in the process come into direct confrontation with humans who try to protect their crop fields from utter destruction.

Muyunda explained why an elephant that trampled a human being is put down. “It is already angry may attack again,” he said.

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