There was pandemonium at Chiredzi District Hospital today after a huge crocodile was spotted in a storm drain at the biggest referral health institution in the Lowveld.
The reptile did not attack anyone from the time it was spotted around 4am to the time it was captured and translocated by a team from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority(Zimparks).
It is suspected that the crocodile might have come from canals that convey irrigation water in cane fields at the nearby Hippo Valley Estates. There was panic at the health institution after the huge crocodile was spotted with some even attributing its presence to “black magic”.
However, there was unanimity that the reptile might have gone astray in the wake of heavy rains that have been pounding most parts of Masvingo including the Lowveld, filling up rivers and even canals.
Acting Chiredzi District Hospital medical superintendent Dr David Tarumbwa confirmed the incident but quickly pointed out that the crocodile had not attacked anyone.
“It was just a crocodile that was seen within the hospital area around 4am but it did not attack anyone. No one was injured. The situation was managed very well and the crocodile was taken by Zimparks and deposited in Chiredzi River,”Dr Tarumbwa.
He called for improvement in the general security of key facilities such as health institutions in the wake pr heavy rains that have been falling in the Lowveld.
“We thank God that the situation was managed but a crocodile is dangerous even to a beast(cow) what more to a human being. I think there’s need to improve security at institutions like hospitals because there is movement of water caused by heavy rains that have been falling.”
This was corroborated by Chiredzi District Administrator and Civil Protection Unit chair Mr Lovemore Chisema who said the reptile was safely removed from the health institution.
“Yes we woke up this morning(Monday) to a scare over a crocodile that was in a storm drain at Chiredzi Hospital but it didn’t attack anyone until it was removed from the place by a team from Zimparks,” said Mr Chisema.
He confirmed that it was taken to Chiredzi River.
“The good thing is that authorities at the hospital managed to make sure the crocodile remained at the same place(storm drain) until it was removed by guys from parks who tool it to Chiredzi River about 16km from the hospital.”
Mr Chisema also rubbished circulating reports that the huge reptile might be the work of juju.
“Heavy rains have been falling here for days and these animals(crocodiles) even also get confused sometimes so maybe it just strayed from a canal because of rising water levels. I don’t think there is more to it.”
He said besides crocodiles there have also been numerous reports of even hippos being spotted in farmers’ small overnight storage dams as water levels continue to overwhelm rivers and dams in the Lowveld.
Recently a huge crocodile caused a stir in Shurugwi after being spotted in a villager’s hut.