Irate villagers Mpika’s Fulaza village in Musalangu Game Management area in Luangwa North National Park (LNNP) in Muchinga Province today staged a riot and thereby damaged –property worth millions of kwacha after a woman got killed by a stray elephant.
The un-named woman of the same village met her fate after she unexpectedly attacked by the jumbo as she was working in her field.
ZANIS reports that Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Communications and Public Relations Officer Ms Readith Mwila – Muliyunda confirmed the incident in a statement, today.
Ms. Muliyunda said the irate villagers set ablaze, destroyed and stole various equipment worth thousands of kwacha at ZAWA camp offices found in Luangwa North National Park after word went around that a woman got killed.
She said among the equipment destroyed included the radio room adding that eleven people have since been arrested and detained at Mpika remand prison.
ZAWA and its partner, the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) which manages the LNNP the village is located, are seeking to raise K95000 to replace the lost equipment and rebuild infrastructure at the camp, Ms Muliyunda said .
She has advised said communities in Game Management Areas ( GMA ) areas to understand that their safety cannot be guaranteed as they share same space and natural resources with the wildlife.
Ms Muliyunda said that although human habitation is allowed in game management areas, the land is primarily reserved for sustainable wildlife development and conservation.
“ People should understand this very clearly and understand that this is also for their benefit, “ said the ZAWA spokesperson.
Ms Muliyunda emphasised that ZAWA’s role is unique and complex and officers have to juggle to protect these communities from dangerous wildlife while at the same time, ensuring that the animals are protected from human hostility and abuse.