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Friday, 16 February 2018
Hospitalised elephant handler fears he may never walk again
A VICTORIA Falls tour guide, who was trampled and left for dead by a domesticated elephant last week, is still battling for his life at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
James Ncube (64) of Milonga Village in Jambezi, sustained spinal injuries after an elephant from Africa Centre for Holistic Management (ACHM) went berserk and trampled him.
Ncube told Southern Eye from his hospital bed on Monday that he has lost hope of ever walking again.
“It is still painful as I was stitched all over my body. I hardly sleep, but the doctors are trying by all means to save my life. I am waiting for them to put a cast on my fractured limbs, but I cannot sit nor walk,” he said.
His wife, who identified herself as MaSibanda, said her husband had a slim chance of surviving.
“This is a blow to the family. As he said, he cannot do anything. The day of the incident, he was asked to remove the elephant from the garden where they grow maize. As he was walking it out, it attacked his boss [Hazel Palmer] before turning on him. The person who was employed to handle it called Simon was off duty, that is why they had to assign my husband. When I saw him at hospital, I never thought he was going to make it to this day. We thank God for saving his life.”
However, ACHM founder Allan Savory’s daughter, Sarah, disputed claims that the elephant was domesticated.
She insisted that the elephant just attacked Ncube and Palmer, as they were walking along a foot path.
“I am not sure where you got that information, but it is not correct and has caused great stress for all of us involved in the incident.
“Dojiwe (the elephant) was not a domesticated elephant. She was orphaned as a very young calf and we rescued her. No wild animal can or should ever be described as domesticated. When elephants are orphaned, they have to have constant companionship, otherwise they would die of loneliness and this companionship has to be with human handlers.”
Savory said the rogue elephant was put down in order to save human lives.