45-year-old Haruna Abubakar, who was trying to get a close picture of
Abubakar, who was awed by the sight of the elephants, was hit by one of the animals resulting in his death on Sunday, July 8, 2018.
The elephants reportedly proceeded to the forest but some villagers kept on following them while they moved.
In the same incident, nine-year-old Fa’izu Chiroma Musa, lost his life when he joined villagers from Bajama village to catch a glimpse of the huge animals for the first time.
The young Fa'izu reportedly fell down and got trampled on by one of the elephants when villagers ran for their dear life after the elephants got charged and scattered the crowd that had gathered to see them.
How the elephants killed two people in Bajama village
The management of Yankari Game Reserve and Safari have revealed how a nine-year-old boy and a 45-year-old man lost their lives while catching a glimpse of elephants moving about.
Confirming the incident in a statement in Bauchi on Thursday, July 12, 2018, the Sole Administrator of the Reserve, Habu Mamman said the incident happened on July 8, 2018 when elephants went out of the reserve through Sharam early in the morning and headed towards Bajama village.
“The elephants went to Gwartanbali forest where villagers living around there got excited and came in large numbers and put the elephants in a circle, taking pictures and trying to touch them.
“Tradegy struck when the elephants got charged and scattered the crowd and the villagers all ran for safety but as a result, they pushed down a nine-year-old boy, Fa’izu Chiroma Musa, who was trampled by one of the elephants and he died on the spot around 10am.”
Continuing, Mamman said: "It took our rangers some hours to control the crowd who kept on following the elephants before they could chase the elephants back into the reserve.
“Normally the rangers are able to provide rapid intervention and chase the elephants back into the reserve when they go out, but this case was difficult because the villagers were very excited and wanted to go close and touch the elephants.
“They said it is their first time of seeing and coming in contact with elephants,” the sole administrator stated.
Villagers admitted to being ignorant
Meanwhile, the villagers admitted to being ignorant of the danger in moving about with elephants saying their underrated their wildness.
Mamman said the Yankari Reserve management had visited the families of the deceased and “they said that they were ignorant that elephants can be dangerous and admitted that it was their fault for getting too close to the elephants.”
He also stated that conflict between elephants and human was not uncommon around Yankari, disclosing that this was the first fatal case the reserve had recorded.