Longido District Commissioner Frank Mwaisumbe revealed this yesterday when talking to this paper over the phone from Longido.
He said the deaths occurred this year at different times whenever villagers went to fetch water, collect firewood or grazing their livestock when elephants would appear and cause havoc and fear among the villagers.
He said: “Human beings look for water while elephants also come to the villages for same purpose or even visit sites where there ‘grand parents’ were killed or even when looking fodder for their offspring, such as protein and minerals, hence when they meet elephants start attacking and chasing away and villagers, and that is how some of them were killed.”
He said elephants have unique history – if their parents had passed at one place or obtained their needs at the place, this is inherited downwards, even after 200 years they will pass by the area even if it is an urban area.
"We have heard just recently elephants in the city of Tanga and caused havoc, and such situation is the one I am talking about even if there is one tribe or a family that was responsible in killing of elephants, and when they later pass and smell, or hear or recall a dialect of that tribe that was involved, they must retaliate… elephants have great sense of smell and memory,” he said.
He said concerning defense and security of Longido district the government has taken the first step of educating villagers living near the wildlife in collaboration with TANAPA that they should go in large groups in company of dogs who will tip them in cased elephants are in vicinity.
He said the government shuns building structures for social services in these areas to avoid such clashes with elephants.
Mwaisumbe said the reasons followed increase of the war against poachers hence elephants increased in large numbers, which was good for tourists.
He said TANAPA maps show the wildlife areas have been infringed by humans by 15 percent and up to now only five percent remain following human activities and increase in population.