A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has told how he heroically fought off a crocodile after it lunged at his leg while swimming with friends in Gwayi River.
Mpumelelo Tshuma, of Gwayi Range Farm and a Form 2 pupil at Nechilibi High School pupil in Hwange district, was swimming with six other boys when the reptile attacked on Monday last week, a day before schools opened.
He is admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.
The boy bravely fought the marauding crocodile together with his brother, sustaining injuries on his left leg.
Speaking to The Chronicle from his hospital bed yesterday, Tshuma said he had gone for a swim with his 17-year-old brother, Arnold, and friends when the reptile seized his leg.
“After our swim as we were about to go, suddenly the crocodile grabbed my leg from behind and dragged me into the water. It tried so hard to get on top of me but I fought hard so that it doesn’t submerge me in water,” he remembered.
He said after a few minutes, he raised his head and reached out for a log which his brother Arnold had thrown to him while the other boys threw stones at the crocodile.
“I held on to the log but the crocodile kept pulling me back into the water. I didn’t give up. I put all my strength and it let go of my leg. That’s how I survived,” said Tshuma.
His mother, Thobekile Dube, said her son was lucky to be alive after being rescued by his brother and friends.
She said he lost a lot of blood due to excessive bleeding after almost all the flesh from the leg and foot was ripped off in the attack.
“The bone on the limb is exposed and we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will recover,” said Dube.
She appealed for financial help saying she has been buying injections and blood for the period he has been admitted.
“We will only know whether he is improving or not next week when he is taken to theatre but for now I’ve been buying injections at $8 each every day since the day he was admitted. That is expensive for me because I also travel to Bulawayo almost on daily basis because I’ve nowhere to stay here and I wish I could get someone to help me. He also needs blood because he lost a lot of blood due to the injuries and so far I’ve bought two pints at $170 each,” said Dube.
“We appeal to Parks and Wildlife to come and take away these crocs because there are too many of them now and they are always basking on the rocks,” said Dube.