Despite the fact that Africa is a large continent with plenty of space, the region’s growing human population has encroached on wildlife-rich areas. In recent years, the population of iconic species such as elephants and lions has also increased, culminating in a serious human-wildlife conflict.
Human-wildlife conflict has become a national issue in many African countries. Since 2016, the number of individuals killed in Zimbabwe has increased. Wild animals not only endanger people’s lives, but they also destroy livelihoods such as crops and livestock.
In several African countries, there are six animal species that are categorized as dangerous. Buffaloes, elephants, hippos, leopards, lions, and rhinoceros are among these animals.
According to Tinashe Farawo, a spokesperson for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management, crocodile and elephant attacks account for the majority of human deaths and injuries in this conflict. So far this year alone, 60 Zimbabwean have been killed by elephants. The country had 72 deaths and 50 injuries in 2021. Elephants and crocodiles were responsible for 90% of the deaths, followed by lions and buffalos.
People frequently shoot or poison lions that kill their cattle or elephants that eat their farms in retaliation. Poaching has also put several animal species in jeopardy. The International Union for Conservation red List recently designated forest and savanna elephants as endangered. Meanwhile, African lions are also suffering from habitat loss.