- …after elephant kills woman in KK
Mayhem erupted at Bamba Village in Traditional Authority Mwadzama in Nkhotakota Friday as irate villagers assaulted African Parks Malawi rangers over the death of a woman who was trampled by an elephant which had run away from the game reserve.
On Thursday morning, the woman together with her husband was attacked by the elephant on their way to the maize garden.
The husband managed to escape while the woman died on the spot after sustaining injuries in the chest.
However, the villagers descended on police officers as well as rangers who had gone to assess the scene of the incident.
During the fracas, rangers David Robertson, an operations manager for African Parks as well as a ranger sustained injuries.
Two vehicles belonging to African Parks were torched while an M16 rifle went missing during the riots which lasted three hours.
Meanwhile, the body of the woman was still at the village as medical personnel struggled to access the area.
Later in the evening, the district commissioner (DC) Medson Matchaya was blocked by an angry mob at Mpamantha Village. Police had to use teargas to disperse the angry villagers as they pelted stones at the police officers.
When contacted, Nkhotakota Police Station spokesperson Williams Kaponda said they eventually put the situation under control.
African Parks constructed a perimeter fence around the reserve but of late, there have been reports of wild animals terrorising communities living along the buffer zone.
A villager Wilson Sipiliyano described the incident as distressing, saying the loss is a severe blow to the family and the entire community.
“I am deeply touched with the loss. Such people are bread winners of their family. And want African Parks to take charge regarding the burial of the deceased,” he said.
Meanwhile, African Parks officials have assured the communities living along the periphery of the 1 800 square kilometers reserve of their safety.
In 2017, a woman was also killed by an elephant in the area of Traditional Authority Mphonde.
African Parks manages the Nkhotakota Game Reserve alongside Liwonde National Park in Machinga and Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa under the public-private partnership (PPP).