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Elephants Destroy Gov’t Property

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Elephants. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
FRANCISTOWN: An elephant and its calf recently went on the rampage at the Ngwasha Veterinary Control Gate leaving police officers and other civil servants stationed there in fear.

When confirming the incident, Nata Police station commander, Superintendent Vincent Pitseetsile said the elephants destroyed a generator and an ablution block at the scene.

Pitseetsile said the elephants also damaged some of the officers’ and government properties.

The incident, the police chief added, has left police officers and civil servants living within the vicinity of the Veterinary Control Gate terrified as their lives are in great danger.

“The incident happened when the elephant tried to save its calf that was trapped in a drain while looking for water.

Its mother then lost temper and went on the rampage destroying property. People then ran (off) in different directions fearing for their dear lives,” Pitseetsile said.

Even though Pitseetsile was concerned about the damage caused by the two elephants, he was glad that no one was harmed.

The matter, he said, was reported to wildlife authorities.

He added that wildlife officers came on time and managed to rescue the calf.

“The angry

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elephant then walked away with her calf. The situation became normal after the elephants left, leaving government and police officers counting losses,” Pitseetsile said.

“We are yet to quantify the extent of the damage that the elephants caused during the rampage,” he added.

In his inaugural speech on Friday at the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena, President Mokgweetsi Masisi touched on the issue of human-wildlife conflict.

“As you may be aware, in the recent past, Botswana has experienced high incidences of human-wildlife conflict particularly relating to elephants due to their significant increase in population.”

When speaking about some of the strategies set aside for wildlife conservation, Masisi said approximately 40% of Botswana’s land mass is in the form of national parks, game reserves and Wildlife Management Areas.

The President said despite this land reservation, elephant population has increased beyond the capacity of the game reserves to trespass into human settlement areas and raised conflict.



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