This year crocodiles took a narrow lead over elephants as the most dangerous animal to humans, according to new statistics released this weekend by a Zimbabwean conservation group.
Crocodiles dragged away and ate 13 people in the first 10 months of 2005, according to the annual report of the Campfire group. Elephants charged and trampled to death 12 people. One person was killed by a buffalo and one by a hippopotamus making a total of 27 Zimbabweans killed by wildlife.
Many of those killed by elephants were subsistence farmers trying to protect crops from the voracious appetites of the animals who eat about 300kg of vegetation a day.
Some farmers use chilli pepper spray to ward off the elephants, which usually amble off but occasionally become enraged, especially if they have young. Crocodiles prey on villagers fishing or washing in rivers and lakes.
Despite the fearsome reputations of lions, they rarely kill humans. No fatal lion attacks on humans have been recorded in the last year.
I never treated any of these, only dogbites and a nasty goring by an ox, while in Zim, but a friend of mine treated a nasty bite from a Hippo, which were greatly feared...
Of course, in our area, we didn't have any crocs or lions or even buffalo in our area, but we did have some hippos migrate to a new irrigation lake from a dam...