Elephant Tramples to Death Teenager Holding a Machete (DRC)
James Crump, Newsweek
June 9, 2021
A teenager was killed by a stray elephant in the Democratic Republic of
Congo on June 4, after the animal ran towards a group of local residents
when it felt threatened.
The elephant had been living in forests in the town of Kiniati, of the
Kongo Central province, for several months after leaving the territory of
Tshela, in the forests of the sector of Loangu, according to Media Congo.
Local residents discovered the animal's exact location in the forests,
prompting a group to confront the elephant. Desk Nature reported that the
elephant felt threatened after seeing the group of residents and charged
towards the crowd, causing them to run in several different directions to
avoid being hit by the animal.
The elephant struck several people as it ran through the crowd in an
attempt to escape, and after colliding with him, killed a 16-year-old boy
holding a machete.
Nzau Ndundu Raphaël, secretary of civil society of the nearby town Lukula,
told Desk Nature that the "victim was accompanied by his older brothers who
could not believe it," and confirmed that the teenager's "body is kept in
the mortuary of Lukula hospital."
Following the death of the teenager, the local civil society is appealing
to national and provincial authorities to find a solution to deal with the
African forest elephants occupy most of the tropical forests in West and
Central Africa, with the largest populations of the animals found in Gabon
and the Republic of Congo. The size of the population is in decline due to
heavy poaching, and the World Wildlife Fund has predicted that if hunting
continues at the same rate, then the African elephant could be extinct by
Although all species of elephants are herbivores, attacks on humans are
common, with at least 100 and up to 500 fatal attacks reported worldwide
every year, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
In December 2020, Charles Mutisya, 73, was disemboweled and trampled to
death by an elephant while tending to his farm in Makueni, Kenya. The wild
animal had left the nearby Tsavo East National Park when it attacked the
elderly man at around 7:00 a.m. local time on December 30.
Makueni County Police Commander Joseph Ole Naipeyan told Kenya News Agency
that "police from Mtito Andei police station and Kenya Wildlife Services
rangers visited the scene of the incident and found the body having visible
injuries with intestines hanging outside the stomach."
Newsweek has contacted police in the Democratic Republic of Congo for