By Clemans Miyanicwe, The Namibian
An elephant cow with a broken leg was put down by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism near the settlement of Fransfontein on Tuesday. According to ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, it was initially thought that the animal had been shot and injured, but after assessment it was clear it had a broken leg.
Muyunda says the animal’s meat was given to the Swartbooi Traditional Authority to distribute among the community in the area. Rachel Uwukhaes from !Ganeb Pos says the elephant cow arrived at her livestock kraal late at night. “We heard sounds and that’s when the livestock herder informed us [of the elephant],” she says.
Uwukhaes says she and her boyfriend subsequently went to the kraal and saw the elephant cow lying down near the kraal’s fence. “We thought it may be injured, and that’s why it was lying down,” she says.
Uwukhaes says elephants pass by her homestead frequently. She says they removed the fence of the kraal so that the animal could get up. Lisothe/Uises, another resident, says she alerted people to make their children aware of the animal’s presence.
Some children are at home on holiday as schools have closed due to the country’s surging third Covid-19 wave.
About 80 people gathered in the area where the elephant cow was lying, residents say. Cornelius Bowe, vice captain of the Swartbooi Traditional Authority, said the animal’s meat was distributed among more than 400 people at Fransfontein and surrounding areas.
“The distribution went smoothly,” he said. Bowe thanked law-enforcement officials, the distribution team and those who slaughtered the elephant cow.