RESIDENTS in Lupane centre and villagers from surrounding areas are lIving in fear after a stray hippo was spotted close to Lupane State University site before it attacked a villager early last week.
by LUYANDUHLOBO MAKWATI
The giant water mammal is believed to have come Tshangani River, whose water levels have dwindled. It was first spotted in Lupaka — about 30km north-west of Lupane on Tuesday night, where it attacked a woman only identified as MaNyoni the following night.
Kusile Rural District Council chief executive officer, Christopher Chuma said they were working hard through the Campfire project to protect villagers from stray wild animals.
“At first, we were not worried, as it was not attacking anyone, as it was searching for its natural habitat, but I believe due to frustration, upon failing to get water, it then became violent,” he said.
“It is sad that it has attacked an innocent woman, but we are happy that it did not cause too much harm to the lady.
“We were later informed that it was found dead and, as you can see, we are here as Kusile (RDC) with police. They are doing their investigations and us, as Campfire, we suspect that it died because of excessive heat. Moreover, with this thing of cyanide that has been happening in the past, particularly in this region, that is why we incorporated police to make sure that we establish the real cause (sic),” he said.
Chuma was quick to point out that the hippo’s death was not due to cyanide poisoning.
The hippo was then skinned and villagers shared the meat, while its head was taken by Campfire officials.