The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has reported that at least nine elephants have been shot to provide meat for Zimbabwe’s Independence Day celebrations. Four elephants, including the matriarch of a herd, were shot by National Parks’ staff on instructions from higher up in government in the Bumi area. Two foreign tourists witnessed the shootings.
The staff were apparently told to shoot the wild elephants in the Omay hunting area, but chose the easier target of tamer Bumi elephants when time was short. The staff shot two elephants on the Bumi foreshore, one on the Bumi airstrip, and a fourth elsewhere. The next day the rest of the elephants were seen heading out of the Bumi area into the Omay hunting area. In a separate incident, five elephants were shot on orders from the Urungwe Rural Council in order to provide meat for the Independence Day celebrations.