Two elephants were on Monday reported to have strayed out of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, officials confirmed.
The incident comes barely weeks after a woman was killed by another stray elephant which trampled the woman as she was collecting firewood in the reserves buffer zone.
In an interview yesterday, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve park manager Samuel Kamoto said the stray elephants, which he suspected moved out of the enclosure due to lack of food, had not caused any harm to communities.
He said a team of rangers were deployed to track the animals.
“Yes I can confirm that two elephants have escaped from Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. We have so far sent a team of rangers to track them,” Kamoto said.
He advised communities to remain calm because the rangers are ensuring the safety of people living outside the park.
In a separate interview, Stanley Mataka from Chitenje area which is located about three kilometres from the wildlife reserve, said they abandoned their farming activities on Monday morning following warnings of advancing elephants.
“I was busy in my garden when I heard someone shouting. Then I heard that elephants have run away from the reserve. We are living in fear,” he said.
Education authorities at Chitenje and Kaombe primary schools said lessons were disrupted as learners rushed closer to the reserve to see the elephants.
African Parks manages Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve alongside Liwonde National Park in Machinga as well as Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa under concession through public-private partnerships.