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Elephant Attack: Injured Man, 74, Drags Himself for 8 Hours

A 74-year-old villager from Mabale in Hwange escaped death by a whisker after he was attacked by an adult elephant weighing 6 tonnes. Hlanga...

A 74-year-old villager from Mabale in Hwange escaped death by a whisker after he was attacked by an adult elephant weighing 6 tonnes.

Hlanganani Dube of Simukululwe Village under Chief Dingani-Nelukoba fractured his right leg after he was attacked by an elephant at 2 pm while herding cattle on 5 May in a nearby bush.

He dragged himself on his buttocks for eight hours until he reached the main road where he got help at around 10 pm. 

Speaking during an interview with The Chronicle, Dube revealed that following the attack he could neither rise on his feet nor crawl because of the pain on the fractured leg.

Left with no option he started pushing himself on his buttocks while using his arms for balance until he reached the Bulawayo-Hwange main road where he flagged down passing cars.

He said there were a number of times that he almost gave up but the thought of his family that would be left with no one to care for them kept him going.
Human Wildlife Conflict are a Global Problem 
Dube used a torch from a phone to wave down vehicles and after several tries, Hwange Safari Lodge general manager Taylor Cameron stopped and rescued him.

A professional hunter, Thabani Tshuma, said Dube was lucky to survive the elephant attack and was even luckier to still be alive after being in the forest for eight hours while bleeding. 

He said: "Wild animals can pick up the scent of blood from a long distance and instinctively close in on any being that is injured. It is a miracle they did not attack him when he was in the bush for that long, in that state."

Dube is still admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo where he only underwent surgery last Thursday, over three weeks after his admission.

Hwange Rural District Council (HRDC) is taking care of his medical expenses while Mbalabala Safaris and Hwange Safari Lodge have also been assisting.

In 2018, a German tourist was trampled to death by an elephant as she tried to photograph the animal in Zimbabwe.

Authorities in Zimbabwe say the attack occurred in Mana Pools National Park and the tourist succumbed to her injuries later the same day. The woman was in a group of tourists who encountered a herd of elephants upon entering the park.

Elephant attacks are common in Zimbabwe, where they often come into conflict with local farmers. The woman has not been named.

Human-wildlife conflicts are a global problem, and are occurring in many countries where human and wildlife requirements overlap.

This May, Zimbabwe was considering the mass killing of elephants, known as culling, for the first time since 1988 to reduce the 100,000 strong population of the animals.

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