Crocodile attacks tourists canoeing in Zambezi River
A DARING crocodile which last week attacked two canoes carrying tourists in the Zambezi River has been put down to save lives after one of the tourists lost her arm in the attack.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Zanele Ndlovu was attacked while paddling down the Zambezi in the company of her husband and two other tourists.
“We started hunting for it on Wednesday and we managed to shoot it on Friday afternoon with the assistance from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) ranger,” a tour guide, Skinner Ndlovu said.
“We were monitoring it and after positively identified it through its bruises and being territorial, we shot it when it was sun basking. Such crocodiles are a danger to human beings, so it was no longer safe to do speed boating at the site,” he said.
Adventure Zone owner Brent Williams and professional guide Misheck Ngwenya told Southern Eye that the problem crocodile attacked Ndlovu on April 30 and cut off her right arm.
“I did a detailed safety briefing and started the trip around 9:30am. We paddled down the river for about an hour with everyone having fun. We went through some rapids between picnic site Number Seven and picnic site Number Six. After this, we were drifting down from picnic site Number Six towards picnic site Number Four when out of nowhere a huge crocodile attacked one of our canoes with two guests inside,” Ngwenya said.
“It attacked the middle of the canoe which resulted in it puncturing both front and back tubes. I paddled to rescue them while calling Zenzele and Norman to come and assist. Ndlovu, who was with her husband, was sitting in the front of the canoe and she fell into the river first, while the crocodile was still holding on to the canoe.
When I got there I tried to pull the lady into my canoe and the croc charged at me, but missed, but punctured my canoe resulting in me falling into the water.
“The crocodile turned on Ndlovu, biting her on her upper right bicep. The croc then attempted the death roll, breaking off the lady’s arm. At this time, Norman managed to pull her into the canoe and paddled to the river bank.”
Brent said Ndlovu was evacuated by the Zambezi helicopter and rushed to a local hospital. She is receiving treatment at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where the doctors amputated her arm.
Reports are that Ndlovu married her United Kingdom-based husband Jamie Fox on Saturday while in her hospital bed.
Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident and urged Victoria Falls residents and tourists to avoid picnicking at the river banks without guides.
Last Wednesday, a Chinotimba woman was also nearly swept away while bathing along the riverbed while another tourist nearly drowned after diving into the river last month.