Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Police took almost an hour to respond to Maun’s crocodile-mauling incident

A life-and-death emergency was met with a business-as-usual work ethic at the local police station and hospital. The emergency involved a mother-and-daughter pair that was mauled by a crocodile in Maun a fortnight ago.

The pair was trawling the depths of the Thamalakane River for a potato-like vegetable delicacy called tswii when a crocodile attacked and mauled them both very badly. Once the two ladies had freed themselves from the iron grip of the crocodile with more than a little help from a little boy, the other people on the scene called the police and hospital emergency numbers numerous times but couldn’t get through. Ultimately, some Good Samaritans tore off their own clothes to staunch the blood that was gushing out from the bite wounds and used their own car to rush the victims to the Letsholathebe Primary Hospital.

Still and video pictures from the horrific incident have been shared online and are difficult to watch. In the video, the mother’s mangled arm is dangling by a thread of muscle tissue and she is heard to complain that the hand is too heavy for her. From what Sunday Standard learns, the tissue thread would give out and the hand fell off inside the hospital before she received proper medical attention.

When the police finally arrived, it was not to attend to the victims but to take a written statement from witnesses, most of whom had relocated to the victim’s home at this point. 

Missing from this story is mention of a seven-year old boy who came to the rescue by throwing a volley of well-aimed stones at the crocodile, forcing it to loosen its grip. With their last reserves of energy, the women escaped. The boy accompanied some other people who trooped to the women’s home – where the police interviewed him about the incident.

One of the Good Samaritans would later visit the victims in the hospital after they had been admitted. She found the daughter’s bed sheets drenched red with blood and on pleading with staff to change the sheets, says she was told by a doctor that sheets are changed once a day and that both patients were about to be taken to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown.


Read this week's paper