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Elephants: Nuisance to Mbalambi residents

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Elephants have become a cause of distress for Mbalambi residents in the North East District.

In an interview, Kgosi Bernard Mbalambi said elephants had turned his village into a playground over the recent years.

He highlighted that the last herd of elephants was spotted on Monday, July 6, at the village dam, which had now become their drinking point.

He also said elephants had established a new migration pattern within the border villages of Moroka, Mapoka, Gungwe and Goshwe due to lack of grass in their natural habitat.

Kgosi Mbalambi also said the animals had destroyed the fence around the dam, which prompted them to repair the fence every year.

He said his people heeded the call to install huge and strong logs around the dam, but the elephants still damaged such reinforcements.

He noted that elephants displayed excited behaviour at any water point, saying they threw themselves into the water and bathed hence leaving the water messy.

“Elephants get disorderly when they see water as they drink, bath and even urinate in that same water which has resulted in our dam gathering a lot of mud,” he said.

He also indicated that the silt would require a lot of work and resources for them to save their dam from turning into a mud pile. 

He said elephants had noticed that the Mbalambi Dam was able to contain water for a long period, and that they quenched their thirst in the dam after a long journey of traversing between Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, he stated that elephants were a danger to people because they went for watering late in the afternoons when some people were still gathering cattle and firewood in the bush.

He said they were fortunate that there had not been any deaths caused by elephants in his village which he attributed to awareness raised by village leaders and wildlife officers.

Kgosi Mbalambi also said they had learned to live with the elephants after realising that they had established a pattern to visit them every year during the winter season.

He highlighted that farmers were lucky to have harvested early this year following a warning from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks for them to vacate their farms before the winter season arrived.

That, he said, saved farmers who had invested in their farms unlike in the past years when they would leave crops longer and get destroyed by elephants. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Portia Rapitsenyane

Location : MBALAMBI

Event : Interview

Date : Jul 09 Thu,2020


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