By Garikai Mafirakureva/Nizbert Moyo
BARELY three weeks after a crocodile stormed a male ward, a three-metre-long python was on Saturday morning found near the maternity ward, leaving patients and staff at Chiredzi General Hospital shell-shocked.
On both occasions, the reptiles were removed by Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers, but their mere presence at the hospital in the middle of the town has set tongues wagging.
Initially, after heavy rains that pounded the area, residents suspected that crocodiles would stray into the hospital yard.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said he was yet to receive the report.
“I am yet to receive the report, but let me just check where the python was taken to after it was captured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tongaat Hulett and ZimParks rangers recently killed a stray lion that had caused a stir in Triangle.
The lion had caused havoc in the area in the past weeks, killing eight cattle in surrounding villages. Stray animals are suspected to be escaping from nearby conservancies, which include Gonarezhou National Park, Malilangwe Trust and Save Valley Conservancy.
Triangle residents heaved a sigh of relief after news filtered through that the rangers had tracked and killed the predator, which had also invaded the small town of Triangle in Chiredzi.
In a related incident, a nine-year-old girl from Nathisa area in Matobo district in Matabeleland South province was on Monday killed by a crocodile while taking a bath along Hovi River.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that Shalom Moyo (9) was accompanied by her two sisters aged seven and 17 from a field where they were putting fertilizer at the fields and after that, they decided to go and wash their hands at Hovi River, resulting in the minor being attacked by a crocodile,’’ Mangena said.
She said her sisters escaped and informed their parents, who later on went to the scene and retrieved the body. They reported the matter to police.
- Follow Garikai on Twitter @Garry4peace/Nizbert @N.M