RUNDU - A seven-month pregnant woman became the latest human-wildlife victim after she was attacked by a hippopotamus on Monday morning at Rupara village in Kavango West.
She is currently in a stable condition despite having a fractured left arm and seriously injured leg.
Her unborn baby was declared safe and fine by the medical staff.
The 27-year-old victim, Christine Sihako Ndumba, said she did not see the hippo coming.
“We went to water our garden along the river in the morning and at the same time try to catch fish with a traditional trap. I set up the trap and when I came to check on it I was surprised with a heavy blow from the hippo. It bit me on my left arm and then just above the knee on my left leg; then I screamed for help and my husband who was in the garden ran and got me out of the water. By that time the hippo was already on the other side of the river, the Angolan side,” she said.
“Three men later came to assist me to get Rupara to the clinic and with the help of the police transferred me to Rundu hospital,” she added
According to sources at Rupara, the hippo allegedly has been terrorising villagers at the river for some time now. They say this is the third incident although the other two incidents had no injuries. The hippo apparently seems to be injured and is thus more dangerous and aggressive.
New Era could not get any feedback from the environment ministry on what could be done to remove the beast from the area.
According to research, the hippopotamus is considered to be the world’s deadliest large land mammal and these semi-aquatic giants kill an estimated 500 people per year in Africa.
Hippos are also known to be highly aggressive and are well-equipped to deliver considerable damage to anything that wanders into their territory as they are largely territorial and tend to become very aggressive when injured. In May this year, seven villagers fell victim to a hippo attack as they were crossing the Kavango River on a boat from Namibia to the Angolan side of the river at Kahenge village in Kavango West. Two of the victims drowned as a result of that attack.
It was reported that the boat that was boarded by the seven occupants was being paddled across the river as it had no engine, and the hippo attacked and destroyed the boat, forcing them to jump into the river as the boat capsized.