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Rundu man survives croc attack

2023-01-09  John Muyamba

Rundu man survives croc attack

RUNDU – A resident of Rundu who was fishing before the New Year’s celebrations nearly died in the Kavango River.

Lukas Chihinga miraculously survived a crocodile attack, with deep cut wounds on his right thigh after the predator almost snatched his leg off. 

“On 31 December, my brother suggested that we go fishing for our New Year’s celebration on 1 January. We were there with our fishing net, and when we got there, we caught six fish. When we went in for the second round, the crocodile attacked me out of nowhere,” the 47-year-old explained.

“I just felt the blow, and I screamed. My brother and I managed to get out of the river quickly. Luckily, my leg didn’t get stuck in the croc’s mouth, and with the swift assistance of my brothers, we managed to escape to the banks of the river. My brothers immediately phoned a taxi driver who came and rushed me to hospital,” Chihinga narrated his ordeal.

The incident happened in the Sarusungu area of Rundu along the Kavango River.

Chihinga, who is receiving treatment at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital, has 15 children and is unemployed. 

“I have no job. I rely on ploughing my mahangu field, and I collect firewood to sell. For now, I won’t be doing any of that as I don’t think I will recover anytime soon as I have deep cut wounds that will take long to heal,’’ he lamented.

Due to the ever-increasing crocodile attacks along riverine communities, the environment ministry introduced an awareness campaign focusing on crocodile habitats, territory and hunting strategies following the continuous attacks by crocodiles on humans in the Kavango East and West regions. But the situation still persists, where victims continue to pile up as many need what the river holds.

Many communities rely on the river to grow food, water for household use, and to fish and travel. Recently, Regimiya Haikera (9), in Kavango West almost became a statistic of human-wildlife conflict when a crocodile also attacked her at Ntara village. The young survivor allegedly escaped from the jaws of the crocodile with the help of her brother Johannes Ndara, who fought off the vicious reptile.  

The victim and her brother were fetching water for their garden, which is along the Kavango River, when the crocodile attacked and bit her on the inner thigh and the left side of her ribs. Haikera is also still receiving medical treatment at Rundu.

2023-01-09  John Muyamba

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