Crocodile attacks on the rise

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Crocodile attacks

BY OBERT SIAMILANDU

THE number of people being attacked by crocodiles on Lake Kariba and other water bodies in the country has been on the increase as people move closer to rivers in search of livelihoods.

In the past year alone, more than 28 people were mauled to death by the reptiles, but environmentalists say the number might be higher as some cases went undocumented.

Although some cases are reported to police and Press, some in remote places go unreported.

The latest victim was Robert Kazonde, who was recently dragged into Lake Kariba by a giant crocodile at Macheni Bay in Gache-Gache, Kariba.

Kazonde had gone fishing when he met his fate.

Ward 2 Kariba Rural councillor, Kudzanai Makanyaire confirmed the attack, and urged the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to put cages at watering points to safeguard residents and their livestock.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo attributed the spike in crocodile attacks to the destruction of their habitats by humans and competition for fish.

“In 2020, 28 people were killed and 20 were injured in crocodile attacks,” Farawo said.

“In 2021, so far we have recorded four deaths and 23 injuries. Last year, we got 152 reports of crocodile attacks. At least 28 goats were killed in 2020 and 19 have been killed so far this year.

“We managed to capture five reptiles in 2020 and two in 2021.”

He encouraged communities to stay away from water bodies.

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