A one-year-old baby has been killed and eaten by a crocodile in the shallow waters of Kandabwako stream in Chadiza district while her mother is nursing injuries at Saint Francis’ Mission Hospital in Katete where she was referred to after being attacked by the giant reptile.
The incident happened yesterday when Rachael Banda (30) of Chikomba village in chief Mlolo’s area dropped her baby from her back as she struggled to climb a tree in an effort to escape from the reptile’s jaws that left her with severe injuries.
Catherine Banda, who is the sister of the victim, told ZANIS that Rachael was attacked around 15:00hours when she went to the shallow stream to wash her baby’s napkins.
Ms Banda said her sister just felt something pulling her into the water and stated struggling to free herself when eventually she realized that it was a crocodile.
Ms Banda said in an effort to free herself the victim climbed a tree that was in the water but the reptile leaped and got hold of one leg and that it was at this point that the baby who was strapped at her back dropped into the water and the crocodile caught the child and went away with it.
The victim was only rescued by her parents who were in the nearby field after they heard her shouting for help.
By press time, the victim was found at Chadiza Boma clinic in severe pain and being attended to by the doctor who was so busy that he could not allow both the police and pressmen to get to the bed side.
Rachael sustained a broken left arm, deep multiple cuts on the right hand and deep cuts on both legs.
A team of security officers from the Zambia Police and the Office of the President who rushed to the scene could not find the crocodile.
However, a message has since been sent to the Zambia wild life Authority (ZAWA) in Chipata who are expected to arrive in Chadiza today to crop the reptiles that are found in the shallow streams of Kandabwako.