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Feral hippo on the loose after killing man in KZN wetland park

04 November 2019 - 15:31 By Orrin Singh
A hippo killed a man in iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KZN just after midnight on October 27.
A hippo killed a man in iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KZN just after midnight on October 27.
Image: 123RF/Dmitry Pichugin

A feral hippo that attacked and killed a man in northern KwaZulu-Natal remains on the run. 

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the incident occurred in iSimangaliso Wetland Park just after midnight on October 27. 

"A 36-year-old man was attacked and killed by a hippo. He sustained fatal injuries to his abdomen. When Ezemvelo arrived on scene, the hippo was nowhere to be found."

Mntambo identified the victim as Mbuyiseni Nxumalo. 

He refuted claims that the hippo had escaped from Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park (HiP), stating that the hippo is thought to be from St Lucia, which is not fenced.

St Lucia, the main tourist attraction within the iSimangaliso area, is a popular sightseeing destination for hippos and crocodiles. 

Mntambo confirmed that Ezemvelo was investigating the matter. 

Meanwhile, the ANC in KZN expressed concern about reports of attacks on members of the public and livestock by wild animals in northern parts of the province.

In a statement issued on Monday, the ANC said besides the recent death of Nxumalo, the community of Ntandabantu in Mtubatuba had reportedly complained about being harassed by elephants that have been roaming the area after escaping from a nearby game reserve. 

"We are worried about this situation as it poses a serious danger to communities living next to game reserves, as well as their livestock, which is the backbone of their livelihood," said the ruling party.

"In the same vein, we fully appreciate the fact that wildlife has a wide range of ecological, economic and cultural importance in relation to human existence," it added.