Elephant Kills Handler In Zimbabwe Resort Town

An elephant that gave tourist rides in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls trampled his professional handler to death, the local tour operators’ association said Tuesday.

Enock Kufandanda, 50, was killed on Saturday by a bull elephant called “Mbanje” (“marijuana” in the local Shona language).

Parks and wildlife authority rangers shot and killed the elephant, reported to be about 30 years old, soon after it charged and killed Kufandanda.

“We confirm the sad incident, the third in the last 10 years,” Clement Mukwasi, of the Employers’ Association of Tourism and Safari Operators, told AFP.

“The profession of elephant handling is a high risk one.”

He added that elephants can “keep grudges” that lead to attacks.

Witnesses told local media that they heard screams and found the dead body badly damaged.

The World Animal Protection action group said in a statement that the incident was “another sad reminder that elephants are wild animals and should not be ridden.”

Two years ago, a curio-seller was trampled to death by an elephant which had strayed into a shopping centre in Victoria Falls, on the border with Zambia.

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