Elephants die from eating waste paper

VICTORIA Falls Municipality has commissioned an electric fence around a dumpsite to keep away wildlife from scavenging on litter after wildlife activists and environmentalists reported that eight elephants died from eating plastic waste last year.


Organisations such as Environment and Green Fund including tour operators took the initiative to raise $50, 000 to erect an electric fence around the council dump site which is situated in an open space near Masue River, north of the central business district.
The electric fence was commissioned last week and has been in place since December when project organizers have been monitoring its effectiveness.
Speaking at the commissioning occasion, Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor Sifiso Mpofu said the Ele-fence project will go a long way in reducing human-wildlife conflict.
“We appreciate the partnership with environment organizations that has culminated in fencing of our dumpsite. Last year we received reports that over eight elephants had died as a result of ingestion of plastics from the dumpsite of which two of these were found at the dumpsite. This Ele-fence will help curb human-wildlife conflict which is a cause for concern in our region,” said the Mayor.
This comes at a time when the municipality is planning to move away from dumping waste in an open site and establish a landfill in line with modern solid waste management principles.
Other partners involved in the project are tour operators, adventure companies, hotels, wildlife trusts, Econet Victoria Falls Marathon and some individuals.
Victoria Falls Green Fund chairperson Yvonne Yandles said the Ele-fence project is one of many environment friendly developments lined up for 2017 in the wildlife dominated resort town.
Environment Africa chief executive officer Charlene Hewat said the fence has so far proven to be effective as animals no longer roam around the dumpsite.
Elephants, baboons and hyenas mostly, scavenge for food and many have died after excessive intake of plastic waste.

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