DAR ES SALAAM, (The Southern African Times) – Tanzanian authorities on Sunday issued a warning to villages adjacent to the Nyerere National Park saying at least 200 elephants have strayed from the park.
Damas Ndumbaro, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said the elephants could wreak havoc in villages in Namtumbo and Tunduru districts in southern Tanzania’s Ruvuma region.
“A recent satellite survey has shown that about 200 elephants have strayed from the Nyerere National Park and could cause devastation in the villages,” said Ndumbaro on a visit to six villages that have been raided by elephants.
He said the encroachment of wildlife protected areas by livestock keepers was one of the reasons that forced the elephants to stray from their habitats.
Ndumbaro said elephants avoided mixing with livestock because they were allergic to chemicals used in treating the livestock.
The minister said another reason that forced the elephants to stray from their habitats was crops farmed near the wildlife protected areas attracting the elephants.
Ndumbaro said incidents of stray elephants killing villagers and destroying farm crops were on the increase despite government efforts to control the animals.