By Upenyu Silent Chaota
Mazare villagers of Gutu district in Masvingo province are living in a state of terror as crocodiles from Mutirikwi and Mazare rivers are roaming around posing a threat to the lives of the villagers.
Villagers said over 20 cattle have fallen prey to the crocodiles so far.
When Tell Zimbabwe visited the area, kraal head of Mazare village, Daveson Mangare confirmed that his village is under a serious threat from the loose crocodiles.
“We are under a serious threat from these crocodiles. Since the water levels are shrinking to isolated dams, the cattle in the area are exposed to a serious threat as they go to these dams for water and the crocodiles attack them.
“Some cattle are left crippled after having escaped the jaws of these crocodiles”, said Mangare.
Robert Makado a prominent beef famer at the same time the chairperson of the Masvingo Beef Producers Association said that they are losing a lot of livestock as a result of these crocodiles.
“The Parks and Wildlife Management should come and remove these animals because they are no longer tolerable in the society. I have lost 5 cattle so far and the number may rise if these crocodiles are not removed.
“In some instances you find a cow decomposing after having been attacked by a crocodile which is a painful experience for the owner”, he said.
A herd boy who witnessed the crocodile attacking a calf but managed to rescue it from its jaws said that these beasts should be vacated as soon as possible.
“I had taken the herd to the dam for a drink and when the calf was just about to start drinking, I saw the crocodile bursting out of the water and grabbed the calf on the leg. I used my catapults to hit the crocodile till it let go of the calf. The calf’s leg was broken and it died days later”, he said.
“These crocodiles are a serious threat to the peace and tranquil of our village because you never know when these beasts are going to attack. The lives of our children are in potential danger since they are always in those dams swimming”, said one concerned villager.
The villagers say that these crocodiles change territories and they move around at night which makes them dangerous to the community.
Efforts to get a comment from the Parks and Wildlife Management were fruitless as the employees interviewed said they could not comment.