Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Ranger II Lovemore,Mpeki Maphosa aged 61 years, of Main Camp, Hwange National Park was attacked and killed by three elephants on the 21st of October 2013, while on patrol with other two rangers. Maphosa was on an extended 10-day patrol that started on 15 October 2013. Mpeki who was due to retire had requested for an extension of service for a further five years due to his passion and commitment to conservation and the Authority had granted him.
Investigations reveal that on the 21st of October, the late Ranger II Maphosa, left their patrol base to relieve himself. Five minutes later, the other Rangers heard some noise from elephants and from a crying human being. The rangers ran towards the direction where the noise was coming from and they found ranger Maphosa, M. L. lying on the ground writhing in agony. Ranger Maphosa said that he had been attacked by three elephants. The elephants could be seen at a distance of about 400 m going away.
Other rangers assisted the injured ranger to get back to the base because he could not walk on his own. One of his ears had been removed and he was complaining that his right leg femur bone could have been broken. One of the rangers walked to another call sign which was about 10 km away from their base searching for cell phone network signal where he made a call to the station. Main Camp Area Manager and a nurse immediately left to rescue the injured ranger. The injured appeared unconscious and was rushed to Hwange Colliery Hospital. He was pronounced dead by the doctor upon arrival. The body was taken to St. Patrick’s hospital.
The Authority is saddened by the untimely death of its senior officer at a time every effort is being made to counter poaching incidences in Hwange National Park.