Government has expressed concern over the increased reports of human-wildlife conflict as it affects the lives of people and food security.
Minister of Tourism, Rodney Sikumba said human-wildlife conflicts are more prevalent in communities that live near protected areas and game management areas.
He said currently the number of human lives that have been lost this year due to human-animal conflict stands at ten.
Mr Sikumba said human-wildlife conflict has continued to be a major challenge affecting the wildlife conservation efforts.
He attributed increased cases of human-wildlife conflict to population growth, bushfires, poor agriculture practices and significant reduction of prey in game management areas.
ZANIS reports that Mr Sikumba disclosed during a media briefing that in the second quarter Zambia recorded 4,206 human wildlife conflict reports.
He cited Muchinga, Eastern, Lower Zambezi, Southern, Western and Kafue region as areas with most reports of human-wildlife incidences.
Mr Sikumba indicated that most of the human-wildlife animal conflicts were caused by elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamus, crocodiles and bush pigs.
He further disclosed that a total of 53 problematic animals were controlled as part of conservation measures as they became a threat to human life.
And commenting on the increased reports of human-wildlife conflicts in Livingstone, Mr Sikumba explained that African elephant herds often move out of the park at night in the dry season in search of food in surrounding areas.
He said due to lack of a buffer zone, animals end up straying in communities between Livingstone and Kazungula thereby destroying people’s gardens.
Meanwhile, Mr Sikumba has announced that the Ministry of Tourism through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife will next month in October beef up deployment of wildlife officers in hot spot regions so as to reduce human wildlife conflict.
He named the hot spot regions where more reports of human wildlife conflict have been reported as Muchinga, Eastern, Lower Zambezi, Southern, Western and Kafue region.
On poaching, Mr Sikumba said cases of animal poaching across the country have reduced as a result of increased enforcement and patrols by the wildlife officers.
Meanwhile, a 38 year old man of Maloni Compound has been found dead after he went missing on Sunday September 17, 2023.
Southern Province Police Commanding Officer Auxensio Daka said Police in Livingstone picked up the body of Peter Mwangala near Maloni Sakubita collapsed bridge.
He said the body of the deceased had multiple injuries as it is believed that he was trampled to death by an elephant.
“Police received a report of a dead body having been discovered at Maloni Sakubita bridge and visited the scene and established that the person could have been killed by an elephant as it had multiple body injuries and in a decomposed state”, he said.
Police have since picked up the body and deposited it in Batoka Hospital Mortuary awaiting burial and post mortem.