Elephant Tramples to Death Teenager Holding a Machete

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 elephant.

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 2040.

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 comment.

Elephant kills teenager in Congo
Tolstoy, 49-year-old elephant that is considered having the longest tusks among others in the Amboseli ecosystem, grazes at Kimana Sanctuary in Kimana, Kenya, on March 3. A teenager was killed by a stray elephant in the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 4 after it ran towards a group of villagers when it felt threatened. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/Getty Images