In an incident that has left people of Molepolole flabbergasted, last week a two-year-old boy was reported to have been bitten by a donkey.
“We received a report from Gookhunofu Ward, alleging that a two-year-old child was bitten by a donkey,” said the Station Commander for Molepolole Police Station, Superintendent Andrew Bosilong, confirming the incident.
He said that upon reaching the scene, they found the child with minor injuries on the neck, shoulder and the left buttock.
Bosilong explained that the report indicates that the donkey was grazing by the yard while the children were playing nearby. He added that the parents were suddenly alerted by the child’s screaming.
The donkey was then put into the parents’ kraal while they called the veterinary people for disease tests.
“It is difficult to determine the charge because the donkey may have gone astray, therefore, we shall give it to the veterinary people to check if it has some diseases that could be passed on to the child. I am not sure if it shall be killed or not,” stated Bosilong.
He said they checked its brand and the branding, C.A.Y., indicated it to be from Serowe.
Bosilong also explained that most stray animals reflect owners from far places, something he said they do not understand.
Mmueledi Busang, the Veterinary Surgeon in the Integrated Veterinary Services department, said the donkeys are not naturally aggressive against people and any act of aggression is considered abnormal and unusual.
“Any act of aggression must be thoroughly investigated in order to determine the underlying cause and allow for remedial action,” said Busang. He said when an incident of this nature occurs, there are a number of factors to be considered, such as the gender of the donkey, and added that sexual aggression is a factor that may be considered in uncastrated male donkeys. He said female donkeys that have recently given birth tend to be aggressive while protecting their newborn.
Busang further said when a rabies infected animal reaches the rabid stage of disease they behave in an erratic and abnormal manner.
“The animal becomes ‘mad’ as the disease reaches the brain and will attack and bite just about anything that moves,” said Busang.
He also highlighted that any domestic animal that attacks and severely injures a human being while behaving out of character should be considered for humane euthanasia.
Busang confirmed that in this instance nothing will be left to chance and emphasized that the authorities know exactly what to do to safeguard the child’s life.