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Zim Elephant Population Now Estimated At More Than 85 000



15000 elephants being killed by government licensed animal killers since 1991


HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT RELIEF FUND FOR VICTIMS IN ZIMBABWE Cabinet considered and approved the establishment of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund for Victims in Zimbabwe, as proposed by the



By Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable N.M. Ndlovu.



Cabinet wishes to highlight that, as a result of its successful conservation programmes, the country’s increasing human and wildlife populations have led to competition for limited resources between humans and animals.





In 1980, Zimbabwe had reached an elephant population of approximately 50 000 , while the human population was 7.4 million.




In the year 2022, the ZIMSTATS population census estimated the number of people to have more than doubled to about 16 million.


The elephant population meanwhile, is now estimated at more than 85 000, with other species also showing significant growth.




The consequent competition for limited resources often results in wildlife attacks on humans, especially in communal areas and towns that are close to national parks, safaris, forests and other protected areas.




Consequently, people living adjacent to wildlife areas are always in danger of being attacked by the animals, and it has been established that the frequency of such attacks is increasing.




This year alone, as of August 2022, forty-six Zimbabwean lives have been lost to human-wildlife conflict, with the most affected being Mashonaland West Province, where 19 people were killed, mostly in Kariba. Regionally, Zimbabwe has the highest number of deaths from human wildlife conflict.





For example, in Botswana there are significantly less deaths, although they have more elephants at 204 000.





This is because they have a smaller human population and the settlements are sparsely populated. In over a period of 10 years, they have recorded 57 deaths. Besides the fatalities, human wildlife conflicts affect communities in other ways, including the following:





1. People being maimed, disabled, or sustaining serious injuries;




2. Loss of food security due to consumption and destruction of crops by animals;





3. Loss of livestock to predatory wild animals;



4. Destruction and damage of property and infrastructure; and



5. Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases.

Robert Tapfumaneyi