From George Maponga in Masvingo
A 27-year-old Chivi woman is lucky to be alive after she was attacked by a crocodile that locked its jaws on one of her limbs as she tried to cross a flooded Runde River on Tuesday.
Reports say Mrs Tsitsi Gwanangara, of Mavhuna village in Madzivire communal lands, fought the huge reptile by grabbing its jaws and using one of her hands to hit it in the mouth.
She was rescued by villagers who used logs and stones to scare away the crocodile.
She sustained deep wounds to the right leg, right arm and below her right breast following the attack.
Mrs Gwanangara, who is in critical condition, was initially admitted at Masvingo General Hospital before being transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare yesterday.
Acting Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa yesterday said police had not received a report of the incident.
However, Chief Madzivire confirmed the incident with village head Mr Thomas Mavhuna saying Mrs Gwanangara fought bravely to stave off the crocodile.
“The woman (Mrs Gwanangara) was initially rushed to Neshuro Hospital in Mwenezi as her condition was serious after fellow villagers helped her to fend off the crocodile by pelting it with stones and hitting it with logs,’’ he said.
A witness, Mrs Ruvarashe Chimbi (57), of Mavhuna village who was in the company of Mrs Gwanangara, said the reptile attacked the latter as the pair together with their two children were trying to cross the flooded Runde River with their goats.
“Mrs Gwanangara was leading the way as we were trying to cross Runde River that was slightly flooded because of heavy rains upstream and suddenly I heard her screaming. I noticed that a big crocodile had grabbed her right leg,’’ she said.
“She used her hands to grab the crocodile’s mouth and a tussle ensued. I started screaming to alert other villagers who quickly rushed to the scene while Mrs Gwanangara managed to stop the crocodile from drowning her,’’ added Mrs Chimbi.
Villagers pulled Mrs Gwanangara out of the river and rushed her to Neshuro Hospital in neighbouring Mwenezi District.