A SUSPECTED Victoria Falls poacher is battling for life after his stomach was ripped open by a buffalo he had set his dogs on.
The suspected poacher has been identified as Gift Ndlovu (37) of BH 27 under Chief Mvuthu.
According to a game ranger, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the victim had a record of poaching in the area and on that particular day, they were alarmed by the barking of dogs, and sounds of buffaloes.
“We know him, it’s not his first time coming here to poach, but he usually gets away with it,” the ranger said.
“They come as a group and we usually spot the dogs because they move in large numbers of more than 10.
“Upon entering Fuller Forest, he accosted a herd of buffaloes that was watering and he set dogs on them. They ran away and one of the injured buffaloes charged at the dogs while trying to escape. He was running behind and it immediately charged on him.
“It gored him. He held onto a tree and was eventually rescued by his brother Busani Ndlovu who took him to Victoria Falls Hospital, where he was immediately transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.”
Sindiso Mlilo (33), a Fuller Forrest ranger, said he heard the barking of dogs and grunting of buffaloes at midnight during the attack. He immediately rushed to the scene and found more than 10 marauding dogs.
He identified some of the dogs belonging to Lifas Mlotshwa, a villager.
Mlilo said he also recovered one white shoe, an okapi knife, and some match boxes, which are believed to belong to the accused.
The rangers reported the matter to police for further investigations and were informed by Victoria Falls Hospital that they had evacuated to Bulawayo a man whose stomach had been ripped open by a buffalo.
ZimParks public relations officer Caroline Washaya did not immediately comment on the issue.
“Don’t you have my e-mail address? Why are you asking me questions over the phone? Send your questions on gmail and I will respond,” she barked.
Washaya had not responded by the time of going to print.
In April a 70-year-old Binga man was gored to death by a buffalo while in his fields with his wife, who was also severely injured.
That same month, another man Mangisi Tshuma (55) was gored in the forehead in the town centre while going to work and sustained broken ribs and in May, a 65-year-old Woodlands man in Matetsi became paralysed after he was attacked by buffaloes.