HARARE (April 14, 2005) -- Elephants have killed three more villagers in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe.

In the first incident, a farmer was gored to death when he attempted to drive some elephants away from his farm with a rifle. When they ignored a shot fired into the air, the farmer shot one bull in the shoulder. The bull then attacked him, driving a tusk through the manís shoulder and lungs, killing him instantly.

A few days later, two more tribesmen were killed in the same area. Details of those incidents are not available.

Parts of Zimbabwe, along with Botswana and South Africa, are experiencing exploding growth in elephant populations, and there are increasing conflicts between elephants and farmers. Last week, a Zimbabwe professional hunter was killed by an elephant near the border with Mozambique and South Africa, in the southeast part of the country.