BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
PATIENTS at Chiredzi General Hospital were yesterday shocked when they woke up to find a two-metre long crocodile in a corridor in the male ward in the early hours of the morning.
The predator has since been removed by officials from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, but its presence at the hospital sent tongues wagging as people wondered how it found its way into the male wards.
On several occasions, crocodiles have been reported to National Parks after invading Tshovani suburb in the town.
Patients suspected that the heavy rains that pounded the town could have resulted in the crocodile straying into the hospital.
However, other patients suspected that one of the male patients at the ward uses juju (black magic).
On Sunday evening Tshovani ward four councillor, Liberty Macharaga sent out pictures of another crocodile which was spotted in his area to different WhatsApp groups, warning residents to be cautious.
“A crocodile has been spotted at a bridge near Tshovani Primary School. We urge residents to exercise caution until we are able to contact the National Parks and Wildlife to remove the reptile,” Macharaga said.
Meanwhile, a stray lion has also caused stir in the Triangle area of Chiredzi.
This has resulted in Tongaat Hulett employees, as well as residents saying that they are living in fear after the company’s game rangers spotted a lion’s trail that it crossed into the town towards human settlements.
Lions are reported to have caused havoc in Chiredzi in the past weeks, killing cattle in surrounding villages. Stray animals are suspected to be escaping from nearby conservancies which include Gonarezhou National Park, Malilangwe Trust and Save Conservancy.
In a statement issued by Tongaat Hullet that was gleaned by NewsDay, the company warned its employees and members of the community to minimise outdoor activities until the lion is accounted for.
The statement read: “Our game rangers have sited a lion spoor which they have tracked from the direction of section eight all the way into Triangle. Evidence of the foot marks were traceable up to Duly’s shopping complex, disappearing into a hill adjacent to BancABC and the newly-opened Gain supermarket.”
They advised employees to keep away from hills and avoid unnecessary outdoor movements.
National Parks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said he was yet to receive the reports.
“I am going to contact those on the ground to get the details of the matter,” he said.
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