ZAMBIA Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) game rangers have killed a man-eating crocodile that has been terrorising villagers in Chief Nkolemfumu’s area in Kasama.
ZAWA spokesperson Readith Muliyunda confirmed the killing of the reptile which had reportedly been responsible for close to a dozen attacks and deaths.
The man-eating reptile had made the area around Safwa Pontoon on Chambeshi River on Kasama-Mbesuma Road its home.
The villagers were, however, still not convinced that the game rangers had killed the right reptile.
According to some locals who refused to state their names, the crocodile that had killed close to eight people in 18 months was a mythical creature called ‘icibokolo’ and was still at a large.
Ms Muliyunda also confirmed receiving such a report which she said was common in areas like Chilubi which record many crocodile attacks every year.
She said perpetuating such myths was retrogressive and created unnecessary stigma in rural communities where some individuals were singled out as being able to transform into crocodiles.
“I want appeal to the public that a crocodile is a crocodile. Reports of men turning into crocodiles though rife are unproven.
“I am appealing to members of the public to also exercise caution by staying away from crocodile-infested areas or any such areas where crocodiles are known to attack humans,” she said.
Chibundu Ward Councillor Daniel Silwimba also confirmed the killing of the crocodile by ZAWA officers who had been deployed to the area after Kasama District Commissioner Kalanga Bwalya called for the elimination of the man-eater.
In December last year, two residents of Safwa area in Kasama were killed by a crocodile in separate incidents.
Mr Bwalya made the appeal to ZAWA after three people were killed by a crocodile at Safwa Pontoon in April last year.