A crocodile that has been wreaking havoc along Mukuvisi River in Harare was shot dead last Friday by a Parks and Wildlife Management Authority team.
The crocodile’s presence became known after some members of the Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministry led by Prophet Walter Magaya, which has its church building along the river, spotted it a few months ago.
Prophet Magaya once raised alarm on the presence of the large reptile near his church. The more than three-metre-long reptile was shot twice after some months of hiding in the muddy waters.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority officials last Friday paraded the dead crocodile in the city centre to raise awareness on the dangers of provoking wild animals. Scores of people thronged streets near Herald House to witness the rare spectacle, with the officials educating them on the dangers of crocodiles and their behaviour.
“This is the crocodile we have been receiving reports on,” said Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya Moyo.
“At one time there was a teenager from Prophet Magaya’s church who reported the presence of this crocodile.
“They were citizens concerned that it was posing a threat to humans and we have been monitoring it together with the police who were also receiving reports to do with this particular crocodile. People thought the crocodile had disappeared, but it never went anywhere. Mukuvisi River is heavily polluted, so it would easily hide.”
Ms Washaya Moyo appealed to people to be cautious on approaching water bodies this rainy season as crocodiles have a tendency of flowing along with the water. “We decided to put it to sleep today by shooting it and it was shot twice,” she said.
“It put up a fight, but finally succumbed to the wounds. The question that has been asked is if it is male or female? With crocodiles, unless you skin it, you cannot tell because its sexual organs are inside.”
Ms Washaya Moyo said at least 37 people were killed by crocodiles countrywide between January and October this year while 24 others were injured.