Written by July 27, 2017|
An elephant—forced to give rides at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park—was shot dead by park authorities after crushing a seasoned handler to a pulp.
— The Sun (@TheSun) July 26, 2017
Elephants Mbanje and a female companion named Nkanyezi were out grazing when elephant handler Enock Kufandada attempted to corral him into a pen. The animal then charged after the man. The enormous bull elephant—who had been forced to give rides earlier in the day—crushed him to death.
No one reportedly saw the trampling, but people in close proximity to the incident heard screams and the trumpeting of an elephant. Mbanje was later seen walking down a road covered with blood. According to local reports, Kufandada’s son later visited the horrific scene to help pick up his father’s scattered body parts.
Before his death, Kufandada had two other dangerous run-ins with Mbanje. For more than a decade, he worked for the tour operator Adventure Zone, bringing in countless tourists for rides on elephants. The company promotes these encounters as a chance for tourists to “get close to these giants and interact with them.”
Elephants in the tourism trade are regularly beaten with bullhooks, bound with ropes or shackles, and worked to exhaustion.
The only way to force elephants to give rides, paint pictures, juggle, or perform other demeaning tricks is through violence and domination. Under these conditions, it’s no surprise when an elephant finally breaks and strikes back.
No elephant ride is worth this misery. pic.twitter.com/GKsfzPlQOZ
— PETA (@peta) January 16, 2017
Glynis Vaughan, chief inspector of the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told The Telegraph that captive elephants used by tourist companies have killed numerous people in recent…