A 12-year-old Buhera boy fought and escaped from a crocodile that had attacked him as he crossed Save River.
Delvin Mutsvakiwa, a Grade Seven student at St Moses Primary School in Buhera, was badly injured on both hands.
The boy said he poked his fingers into the reptile’s nostrils, a lesson he had received from his grandmother.
With the crocodile’s air supply running low, it became powerless and let Delvin go.
The boy took the opportunity to quickly swim to safety.
Delvin told The Manica Post that the incident happened when they were helping cattle cross the Save River. He spoke in an interview held after he was discharged from Murambinda Mission Hospital after a two-day stay at the institution. He said:
We were helping our cattle cross Save River and I was in front. We had helped the first and second batches of our herd to cross the river. We were crossing with the last batch when I felt a sharp pain on my left arm.
I realised that a crocodile was attacking me. My friends who were behind me ran back to the riverbank and started shouting, advising me to wade to the reeds.
I shouted back that it was too deep for me to do that. I could see that if I took heed of their advice, the reptile would eventually overpower and kill me.
That’s when I poked my fingers into the crocodile’s nostrils. After a few minutes, I realised that it had become powerless. It let go its grip on my hand and I quickly swam to the riverbank.
I was badly injured and was bleeding profusely. I had to put some sand on the wounds to stop the bleeding.
The crocodile followed Delvin’s blood trail and caught up with him.
The reptile, however, caught a goat that was passing by and disappeared into the river.
At that time, Delvin’s three friends had rushed to the village to inform the elders that he had been attacked by a crocodile. He added:
Had the crocodile attacked me for the second time, I would not have survived since I was now powerless. I had lost a lot of blood and was already feeling dizzy.
When I saw it opening its mouth, I closed my eyes and waited for fate to take its course since I could no longer defend myself.
His mother, Ms Matilda Mutsvakiwa, said when fellow villagers arrived at the river, they were already crying as they thought that Delvin was long dead. She said:
There was no sight of him and the water in the river was bloody.
Little did we know that it was both Delvin’s blood and that of the goat which had ultimately become the crocodile’s meal.
People were crying and the village head was about to call the police to alert them of Delvin’s death when a weak Delvin shouted that he was alive and was across the river.
I thank God for rescuing my son and giving him a second chance to life.
Ms Mutsvakiwa added that quite recently, Delvin’s cousin lost his life after a crocodile attacked him at the same crossing point and that’s when her mother started imparting survival skills on her grandchildren.
The grandchildren were taught to either put a reed inside the reptile’s mouth or insert their fingers in its nostrils.
Buhera North legislator, William Mutomba, has since adopted the boy, contributed US$300 towards Delvin’s medical bills and has also offered to pay for the boy’s secondary school education.