Zimbabwean conservation hero dies after tragic elephant encounter

Posted by David Henning on 12 October 2021

Zimbabwean Conservation Hero, Clever Kapandura, passed away in a tragic wildlife incident on Friday, October 2021, whose death is mourned by the Victoria Falls community.

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A statement issued by the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit confirmed the following:

‘On Friday 8th October, following a report of a possible poaching incident with GPS coordinates of a carcass, VFAPU deployed a team of anti-poaching scouts to investigate the scene. Clever Kapandura, as the operations coordinator for the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, and being the passionate and committed leader he was, decided to go out and join the team on the ground to investigate the scene.’

Clever Kapandura. Picture by Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit

‘Whilst following the GPS Coordinates, the team noticed an Elephant Bull a substantial distance away. For some unknown reason, the Elephant Bull charged from approximately 120 meters, and the team of three scouts had to split up. Despite following all the prescribed evasive action in an elephant charge situation, the animal continued its charge and sadly intercepted Clever. His fellow scouts managed to scare the elephant off and called for support, but by the time the ambulance arrived Clever had succumbed to his injuries sustained in the tragic incident.’

Cleaver Kapandura joined the Anti-Poaching unit from its inception in 1999, serving the tourism and conservation sector for over 32 years. He was part of the original Wilderness Safaris team when the company began in 1990, before dedicating his life to conservation.

Clever was a much loved and well-respected member of the Victoria Falls community, regarded as a conservation hero by many. The Anti-Poaching Unit will be releasing details of a fundraiser for those who wish to assist his wife and children.

Elephant Picture: David Lloyd/ Getaway Gallery


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