REDCLIFF: ZimParks rangers drag crocodile to funeral of teen it mauled to death; family retrieves body parts

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By William Milasi

ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers on Tuesday dragged the carcass of a crocodile to a funeral wake in in the town of Redcliff.

The rangers had shot the menacing reptile after it mauled to death a 14-year-old boy from Torwood suburb.

Ali Phiri, a Batanai High School learner, was attacked by crocodiles when having a casual swim in the Kwekwe River with four of his friends late Sunday.

Frightened mourners had to scurry before regrouping at the sight of the 4,5 meters reptile.

ZimParks staffers had to restrain angry mourners who were pelting the carcass with missiles.

The teenager was buried Tuesday at Torwood cemetery.

ZimParks National spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said rangers had been deployed to eliminate one of the reptiles.

After killing the crocodile, the rangers slit it open to retrieve body parts which included an arm, a leg and intestines which the family went on to bury with the boy’s other remains.

Farawo said the public was urged to stay away from water bodies to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

“We received the tragic news of the passing on of Ali Phiri a fourteen-year-old boy from Redcliff after he was attacked by a crocodile,” he said.

“We deployed our rangers to eliminate the problematic reptile and we succeeded in doing so.

“We urge the public to stay away from water bodies following the rains which pounded the country. We have to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.”

Meanwhile, residents feel the killing of one crocodile is not enough since Kwekwe River is infested by many of the reptiles.

“We feel that killing one crocodile is not enough as there are many of these reptiles in Kwekwe River.

“Residents are leaving I fear as they use the river for domestic uses,” said Munyaradzi Munikwa.

More than six people have so far been attacked by crocodiles in Kwekwe River.