An 11-year-old Zimbabwean, Rebecca Munkombwe, fought a crocodile with her bare hands last week to save her nine-year-old friend from being devoured by the reptile.
Munkombwe was said to have jumped on the back of the crocodile and gouged its eyes till it released its grip on her friend.
The victim, nine-year-old Latoya Muwani, was reportedly swimming with friends in a stream in Sinderela Village in Zimbabwe when she was attacked.
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According to local media, Munkombwe, a pupil from the Hwange Town, was getting out of the stream when she heard her friend screaming.
“We had just left the water when we heard Latoya who was left alone swimming near the neck deep zone screaming that something was biting her hand. Since I was the eldest among the other seven children, I felt the urge to save her. So, I jumped into the water and swam to where she was struggling to float. She was screaming in pain that something was biting and pulling her under,” said Munkombwe.
After seeing that her friend Muwani was struggling to stay on the water surface and was being pulled away, she quickly jumped into the water by the big reptile which had its jaws locked tight on Muwani’s thigh.
She rode on top of the reptile and started gouging its eyes until it loosened its grip on Muwani. Munkombwe then helped her out of the stream.
“I jumped on top of the crocodile and started beating it with my bare hands before using my fingers to poke its eyes until it released her. Once she was free, I swam with her to the banks where the other children pulled her out of the water. The crocodile fortunately did not attack us after it let off Latoya,” said Munkombwe.
Reportedly, the crocodile did not fracture her bones as Latoya sustained mild injuries.
Describing his daughter’s survival as miraculous Latoya’s father, Mr Fortune Muwani noted that when he heard his daughter had been attacked by a crocodile while swimming, he thought the worst.
“For a moment there I thought of the worst before I learnt that she had survived after being saved by Rebecca. How she managed to do that I don’t know but am grateful to God. Latoya is recovering well here at St Patrick’s and we expect her to be discharged soon as her injuries are not serious,” Mr Muwani said.
Meanwhile, Local councilor Steve Chisose has expressed worry over repeated crocodile attacks in the area attributing it to a problem with water supply, hence the reason women and children accessing water from streams with the large reptiles.
“I appeal to ZimParks to remove these reptiles before they cause serious harm or death,” ‘ he said.
Earlier this year, a 21-year-old man was attacked and killed by a crocodile while fishing at a disused pit, according to the Zimbabwe Sunday News.