Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
A 35-YEAR-OLD woman from Chipinge was gored to death by a stray buffalo while fetching fire wood in a nasty incident that exudes the intensity of human-wildlife conflict in the Save Conservancy.
The victim Firei Sithole was buried at her Mapondo village homestead in Chief Musikavanhu’s area on Friday.
Chipinge Rural District Council Ward 20 Councillor-elect Clr Charles Mugidho confirmed the incident which he said occurred on August 22.
“Yes, I can confirm the sad passing on of Firei Sithole following a vicious attack by a male buffalo while fetching firewood along Save River basin. Circumstances are that the woman left her home together with other villagers to fetch firewood last Wednesday afternoon. While she was busy looking for firewood, a buffalo suddenly appeared from the bush and it started attacking her. The buffalo gored and ripped Sithole’s stomach and exposed out her intestines. The vicious animal vanished into the thicket when the victim became unconscious and the damage had already been inflicted by the time other villager tried to administer first aid on her.
“The villagers ferried her to the clinic, but she died along the way following excessive bleeding and complication arising from protruding intestines,” he said, adding that Sithole left behind four children and a husband.
Cllr Mugidho said the number of people being attacked by buffaloes in the Save Conservancy was increasing daily.
“We are greatly concerned by the human and wildlife conflict here in the Save Conservancy. In April we had another villager Mbengo Maphosa, of Mutorwa village, who was attacked on his way to the fields but was luck to survive.
“I have tried to engage the Department of National Parks and Wildlife who continue promising to attend to the matter. They are urging villagers not to fetch firewood near the Save Conservancy,” said Cllr Mugidho
While efforts to get comment from the wildlife authorities were fruitless, police in Chipinge confirmed the incident and urged villagers against encroaching into the conservancy.
Chipinge district police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Memory Chirambadare said no foul play was suspected on Sithole.