Community relieved as elephants head back to the Conservation Park
The community of Zava together with those of Maphata and Mbaula village are relieved that the elephants that had broken into their area have finally been herded back to Conservation Park.
The elephants apparently broke out through the Mbaula Ranch’s dilapidated fence along the Phalaborwa road area, and wondered into the surrounding communities where they caused a panic frenzy among community members.
Although the elephants were subsequently rounded up by rangers and herded back into the park days later, the fear of uncertainty still lingers in the minds of the villagers where the beasts were last spotted as many are still wondering if other dangerous wild animals such as lions did not come out with them.
“The situation is even more intense if you’re one of those that own livestock and have to be in the bush every day, because you don’t know what else is still lurking out there and waiting to ambush you,” said John Ngobeni one of the villagers who owns livestock.
Another villager, Marry Maluleke from Mahlathi village which borders Kruger National Park fence, has also expressed her fears of the unknown after a hippo was recently spotted near her village. “Each time one walks into the bush to look for some fire woods, the thought of being pounce on by some wild animals always come into mind,” she said adding that the whole village was on alert.
Meanwhile Greater Giyani municipality warned all residents staying near or along the game conservation parks to be vigilant when venturing into the bush as there was always a probability of an escaped wild animal lurking in the bush after recent floods.
“Conservation fences offer no guarantee to keep animals off from community areas, so the best defence that anyone can employ in this regard is to be vigilant whenever you’re out in the bush for whatever reason that you are there for,” explained the municipal spokesperson Steve Mavunda appealing to communities to avoid thick bushes where they could be in danger of being ambushed by wild animals.