Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:38

Tourists to heed the dangers of wildlife

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The recent deaths of two foreign tourists have highlighted the dangers of wildlife and the importance of animal safety regulations.

Recently, two foreign tourists were trampled to death at Maramba River Lodge in Zambia as they tried to get too close to a stray elephant to take a picture.

The deceased tourists were a 57-year-old woman from Belgium, and a 61-year-old man from the Netherlands.

The incident occurred around 17h00. Senior Wildlife Warden, Lewis Data said the woman went too close to the elephant to take pictures, and ended up annoying the animal, which went on to charge and trample her.

 The male tourist then attempted to rescue her but the elephant went on to trample him too, reported Diggers news.

Zambia Police ServiceAacting Spokesperson, Danny Mwale, confirmed the incident in a press statement.

He said the police officers who visited the scene, found the deceased with multiple injuries all over their bodies.

According to the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), human-animal conflicts across the country leave hundreds of people dead every year. Both local and foreign tourists who visit game reserves are not safe from stray animals.

The WWF reported that over 200 people have been killed in Kenya by elephants over the last seven years.

Drew McVey, Regional Manager East Africa for WWF-UK said: “For me, one of the crucial things about dealing with conflicts at any level is that, for human-wildlife conflicts, we need to agree where we want to have wildlife and where we don’t, and then we can work out how best to protect wildlife and how to protect people from it,” reported Africa Geographic Magazine.

Vernon Wait, Marketing Director at Lalibela Private Game Reserve said: “The professionalism of rangers and lodge staff throughout Southern Africa is exceptional. Obviously, we are operating in an environment full of large and dangerous animals so no one can never mitigate all risk. However sad and unfortunate this recent incident is, the fact remains that going on safari in Africa is far safer than crossing a street in New York or taking a taxi in Berlin.”

Colin Bell, Co-Founder of Natural Selection, said: “All respectable camps focus on safety and wildlife, and there is a massive effort on safety within the industry. Slight things fall through here and there.”

Jane Edge, Managing Director at Fair Trade Tourism, said as tourism numbers increased, the likelihood of these incidents increased too.

“While Fair Trade Tourism cannot comment on the circumstances in this instance, the industry needs to get together to establish best practice guidelines,” concluded Edge.

Source: TU

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