By Staff Reporter
AN American tourist is lucky to be alive after she was attacked by a hippo as she canoed with her husband on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls Saturday morning.
Christine Yaldor, 37, was rushed to a private hospital in the resort town where she was treated for leg injuries, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management authorities said.
“The couple was attacked by a hippo when they peddled closer to it. The woman sustained injuries on the leg and was rushed to hospital after being rescued by tour guides,” said a source who witnessed the attack.
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that an American woman was attacked by a hippo while canoeing. She sustained some injuries on her leg but she has been since treated and the wound dressed,” he said.
“Our message remains the same, we urge tourists to be vigilant and extra careful. Never underestimate these animals. Simply stay away from them. Let us be careful and avoid unnecessary deaths and injuries.”
This is the latest in a number of cases this year of tourists being attacked by wild animals in the resort district.
In April Zimbabwean woman Zanele Ndlovu and her British husband Jamie Fox were attacked by a crocodile which cut off her arm as they sailed on the river, barely a week before their marriage.
Ndlovu, a former tennis player, was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where she was treated before finally going through with her wedding at the hospital.
Earlier in the same month, a drunk 21-year-old Zambian tourist lost an arm and sustained multiple fractures after he was attacked by three domesticated crocodiles when he jumped into their pool in Victoria Falls.
Collin Peter Stewart Miller forced his way through a restricted area and climbed over a protective fence into the reptiles’ enclosure.
He had been drinking with friends at a local bar on the eve of a friend’s wedding when he decided to leave them and bulldozed into the protected area.
Miller was flown to South Africa for treatment.
In September, a German tourist narrowly cheated death when an elephant he was trying to photograph lifted him with its trunk and threw him on the ground before trampling on him.
He was in the company of his wife and the two were immediately airlifted to South Africa for treatment.
During the same month another German tourist was trampled to death by an elephant when she tried to take a photograph of the animal in a bush behind Kingdom Hotel.