Elephant escape sparks fear in Matsulu, Mpumalanga

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Residents of Matsulu outside Mbombela, Mpumalanga, say they fear for their lives following the escape of four elephants from the Kruger National Park. They say the elephants have been spotted roaming the area.

In the recent past, there have been reports of animals escaping the park, close to where communities live.

Concerned resident Jacob Soboza says, “The community is very terrified; we can’t sleep. The elephants were roaming around at 6am, and the kids are going to school. The escape of these animals poses a danger to members of the community. Not so long ago, a leopard had escaped and it hurt people.”

“The Kruger National Park and the MTPA should have learned from that incident to take the cries of the community into consideration. We are always on the lookout for these animals.”

Meanwhile, the park’s spokesperson, Ike Phaahla, says a team has been dispatched to recapture the elephants. He says residents should refrain from attempting to capture the animals.

“We are aware of the situation of the animals that are in that fraternity, as we are working closely with our colleagues from MTPA because it’s in their jurisdiction. Currently, there are teams out there monitoring the movement of the animals, and as soon as they are spotted, and we have a helicopter available, we will try to chase the animals back into the park. The advice to community members is to always be vigilant when they have animals in their community.”

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