Man loses arm and leg in crocodile attack after he jumped into river to escape herd of elephants (Bulawayo)


Arunava Chakrabarty, Meaww

Date Published
A hapless man was brutally attacked by a crocodile after he barely managed to escape an elephant attack. Winders Sianene, 43, jumped into a river in Western Zimbabwe to avoid being squashed by a herd of charging elephants. But unfortunately, the father of three had his leg and arm chewed off in a dreadful crocodile attack. The incident took place last week when Winders was suddenly approached by a herd of five elephants while fishing in the Mlibizi River.

Winders jumped into the water to escape the herd and tried to swim across it. While he managed to escape the elephants he was savaged by a blood-thirsty crocodile. Winders jumped on the back of the crocodile and rode it before shoving his arm down its throat to make it gag. As he fought with the reptile, Winders screamed for help as it chewed off his arm. “Winders was on his way to Mlibizi River when he saw an elephant charging towards him”, Winders’ brother Fanikiso Mkombwe told local media. “It was then that he decided to run and jump into the river trying to evade the elephant. Unfortunately, he was attacked by a crocodile in the process. He was going to do fishing in the Mlibizi River. He has since been admitted to Mpilo Hospital [in Bulawayo, southwestern Zimbabwe] while his leg and arm have been amputated.”

Winders also told the local media himself after the incident that he felt a sudden, sharp pain in his left leg after entering the water. He saw the crocodile when he looked back, which then tried to rip off his left hand. “I climbed on the crocodile and tightly held its head as l shoved my right hand into its big mouth”, he told how he escaped from the large reptile. “I knew I had to live at any cost so I made sure to keep my hold intact. Crocodiles have a small tongue so they do not want anything touching it as it hurts them. The crocodile started calming down as I had shoved my hand into its mouth.”

Winders said people jumped into the river water to save his life when they heard his cries. They prized the reptile’s mouth open with a log, prompting it to swim off. “The pain I felt was very severe but I concentrated on being alive”, he added. “I now believe God works in mysterious ways because people rarely survive when they come across these two animals.”

“It is an unfortunate incident that a Binga villager was left disabled after being attacked by a crocodile”, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said. “We are encouraging people to stay away from water bodies and treat them with caution. People should desist from fishing in these water bodies as they might be infested with crocodiles.” Zimbabwean praise poet Obert Dube donated Winders  a wheelchair.