A recently married police officer was trampled to death by a herd of elephants at Cecil Kopje in Mutare, police confirmed yesterday.
Constable Prince Dambe (24), who was attached to the ZRP Support Unit, was on routine patrol near Forbes Border Post in Mutare when the incident happened at about 10PM on Wednesday.
A police source said Cst Dambe and his colleagues had spent the day on patrol at Forbes Border Post before retiring to bed at Cecil Kopje Game Park where they had pitched their tent.
The source said as Cst Dambe and his colleagues slept, a herd of elephants headed towards their tent.
“His colleagues heard a noise and peeped through an opening and saw elephants heading towards their tent. They jumped to their feet and tried to wake him up but he was in a deep sleep.
“Sensing danger they left him sleeping and took to their heels. He woke up when the elephants were near the tent and bolted out in his jogger short,” the source said.
“The marauding elephants chased and caught up with him while he was trying to climb a mountain and trampled him to death”.
The source said the elephants dragged Cst Dambe over rocky ground and tore off his clothes, leaving him in his underwear.
“He died on the spot,” said the source.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that we received a case of a 24-year-old police officer who was trampled to death by elephants. His colleagues left him sleeping. When he woke up he tried to run away but the elephants caught up with him while he was trying to climb a mountain and trampled him. He died on the spot,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She said police were saddened by Cst Dambe’s untimely death considering that he recently got married.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said last Tuesday, another Constable, Joseph Kamba, was run over by a commuter omnibus and later died in hospital. She said he had tried to stop a speeding commuter omnibus along Robson Manyika Drive in Chinhoyi.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the two incidents showed how police officers are exposed to risks when they are carrying out their duties.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri has passed condolences to the Dambe and Kamba families.