A 48-year-old man from Chiredzi area outside Beit Bridge was attacked and killed by a hippopotamus that he intended to skin, apparently thinking it was dead, police have said.
The local police spokesperson, Insp Tinaye Matake, said the incident occurred on Friday, March 12, at around 17:00. The victim was identified as Mr Munjomba Muvengi.
Matake said Mr Muvengi was drinking beer at a friend’s home on Friday, when two small boys came running to them, informing them that they had seen a dead hippopotamus at the grazing area when they were herding cattle.
“Muveni and two of his friends then went to the grazing area and found the hippopotamus. Upon arrival, they started throwing stones at the animal and it remained sleeping, giving them confidence that it was dead,” Matake said.
They all went closer and threw another stone at the sleeping hippopotamus, but it woke up and attacked the men. Two of the men and the two boys who were herding the cattle managed to run away, leaving Muvengi at the mercy of the angry animal. The animal bit him and stamped on him, killing him before going away.
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Mashudu Netsianda is our correspondent in Beit Bridge, Zimbabwe. He joined us in 2006, writing both local and international stories. He had worked for several Zimbabwean publications, as well as the Times of Swaziland. Mashudu received his training at the School of Mass Communication in Harare.