Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
AN unidentified border jumper died when he was attacked by a hippo on a foot path leading to the Limpopo River.
The incident occurred some 500m on the eastern side of the border post on Tuesday.
It is reported that the man believed to be between 30 and 40 years met his fate near the Beitbridge town council sewer ponds. His body was discovered by a council worker late on Tuesday suspended from the sewer ponds’ fence. It is suspected that he died while fleeing from the marauding animal.
The incident comes a few months after three people were attacked and killed by a hippo under the New Limpopo River bridge while attempting to skip the border to South Africa. Two other minors aged seven and nine years were seriously injured in the attack and were taken to Musina Government Hospital.
In the latest case, Matabeleland South police spokesperson, Inspector Philisani Ndebele, said the matter was still under investigation. “We are treating the matter as sudden death since indications are that he was attacked and killed by wild animals,” he said.
“The area is a common spot where wild animals including hippopotamuses are found. As police we want to encourage people to always follow legal channels when travelling to any country to avoid unnecessary loss of lives due to attacks by wild animals or criminals.”The man’s body, he said, was taken to Beitbridge District Hospital for a post-mortem.
He said on the same day they also received a report of a 44-year-old woman who collapsed and died at Dulivhadzimo bus terminus.