BY RICHARD MUPONDE
A ROGUE hippopotamus has wreaked havoc in Huwana, Plumtree, destroying crops and also charging at villagers who try to drive it away.
The hippohas reportedly destroyed many crop fields, leaving villagers of Khame and Ndolwane counting losses.
Reports also say it has become aggressive, particularly when villagers try to drive it away from their fields, with one villager reported to have escaped death by a whisker when it charged at him in the middle of the night.
Bulilima Rural District Council chief executive officer John Brown Ncube on Friday confirmed receiving a report of the marauding hippo.
“We have received such a report of a hippo which is destroying villagers’ fields. We have since dispatched a team of game scouts to the area to take control of the situation,” he said.
Tambudzani Ncube, of Huwana village, said they were now living in fear.
“This hippo is becoming a threat to humans. It is also being spotted near homesteads during the night. There are some vegetable gardens along the pan where it’s living,” she said.
“We have a villager who survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed to his homestead. He went out of his house to investigate why his dogs were barking.
“When he lit his torch, it charged towards him, but he managed to escape and warned other villagers to be on the lookout. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to come and drive it away or kill it as there are fears that it would come back as long as the pan has water.”
There is constant human-wildlife conflict in Bulilima district due to its close proximity to Mabhongwane Game Park.