By Mashudu Netsianda
A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy from Hwange is lucky to be alive after he was rescued from the deadly jaws of a crocodile by alert prison officers.
The prison officers allegedly jumped into the bloodied waters of a pool where the animal was dragging the tot. They reportedly wrestled with the predator, forcing it to release its deadly grip on the child’s arm.
Tapiwa Chadoka of Mpumalanga suburb was swimming with his friends in a pool last Wednesday when the huge reptile attacked him. He was rushed from a clinic in Hwange to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo last Thursday.
Doctors had to amputate his left arm after the crocodile clamped its jaws around them, causing irreparable damage on the body tissues and bone.
When The Chronicle visited the boy at the hospital’s intensive care unit in the paediatric ward, he seemed to be in terrible pain.
His parents were at his bedside, continuously soothing him. The severed limb was wrapped in bandages. The boy’s father, Wadson Chadoka, who is based in Botswana, said the incident occurred on Wednesday shortly after 3PM.
“I had to rush back home from Botswana where I’m working after I got a report that my son was attacked by a crocodile.
“It appears he was swimming in a pool in Mpumalanga together with his friends when a wandering crocodile appeared from nowhere and attacked him,” said Chadoka.
He said the reptile sank its teeth into the boy’s left arm, twisted and rolled as it pulled him to the bottom of the pool. The tot, said Chadoka, screamed attracting the attention of some prison officers who were passing by.
“Luckily some prison officers who were passing by heard my son screaming for help and they quickly rushed to the scene and wrestled with the crocodile until it released him,” said Chadoka as he struggled to hold back tears.
“I’m, however, thankful to God because my son is alive although he lost his arm. As a family we’ll give him all the necessary support during this difficult moment.”
In February, a teenage herdboy from Masvingo was killed by a crocodile while on a fishing expedition along Mutirikwi River. The animal devoured some of his body parts.
The victim was identified as Shingirirai Mangwengwe of Mangare village. His death occurred against a background of increasing reports of crocodiles attacking villagers’ livestock. The Chronicle