Border jumper killed in suspected hippo attack

Zimbabwe : A Zimbabwean man has been killed in a suspected attack by a hippopotamus while trying to cross illegally into South Africa, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The attack occurred just east of Beitbridge town on Tuesday night, said the state-run Chronicle.

“We are treating the matter as sudden death since indications are that he was attacked and killed by wild animals,” police spokesperson Philisani Ndebele told the paper.

“The area is a common spot where wild animals, including hippopotamuses, are found,” he added.

He said the body of the unnamed man was found suspended on a fence surrounding the town’s sewerage ponds. He’s suspected to have died while trying to escape from the animal.

Over the last two years, at least three people are reported to have been killed and several others injured in hippo attacks while trying to cross illegally into South Africa. Hippos have the reputation for being Africa’s most-deadly mammal.

Zimbabwe’s porous border with South Africa along the Limpopo River is a well-used crossing point for illegal immigrants.

“As police we want to encourage people to always follow legal channels when travelling to any country to avoid unnecessary loss of lives due to attacks by wild animals or criminals,” the police spokesperson added.