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Ilanga Provincial Newspapers

Baboon attacks, snatches toddler


PETRONELLA Moyo was cleaning her house in West Nicholson on Sunday,
November 16, when a lone baboon sneaked in and snatched her 18-month-old son.

Her attention was drawn by the screams of her son after the baboon had started
savaging him, sinking its teeth in his buttocks.

“I was scrubbing the floor in the bedroom and the child was playing near the door.

Suddenly I heard the baby screaming and when I turned to check what was
happening I saw a baboon already dragging him,” Moyo explained.

“I started chasing after it, until it let go of him. The wound is very deep.
“The verandah for my house is quite high and when I saw the baboon jump over
with him, I feared the worst. I thought he was dead,” she said.

Moyo also feared the baboon would flee with her son and that she might never see
him again, alive.

Baboons have very sharp canine teeth and claws which can injure and kill their

Cases of wildlife attacking people are increasing in Gwanda District, it has been

There was a public outcry last week following the baboon attack, with residents
expressing concerns that authorities are not treating the matter with the urgency it
deserves, whenever they raise the issue of menacing baboons in town.

But contacted for comment on what the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife
Authority is doing about wildlife attacks on people in Gwanda, Parks spokesperson,
Tinashe Farawo, said they are trying to capture some of the baboons and relocate
them elsewhere.

“I can confirm having received a case of a toddler who was attacked by a baboon in
Gwanda. The toddler is currently receiving treatment at Gwanda Provincial Hospital
and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“We are trying to capture some of the baboons and relocate them somewhere else.
Besides, we are also exploring other options like the use of legal means of
elimination of problem baboons,” explained Farawo.

In May 2019, a male student nurse at Gwanda Provincial Hospital was attacked and
injured by a male baboon.

The second-year male nursing student was left with serious bruises after being
attacked by a baboon.

The male student in his mid-20s was reportedly on his way from attending a lecture
when the wild animal attacked him.

Narrating what transpired, an eyewitness, said the baboon had earlier been
provoked by other students.

“The guy was just coming out class and the baboon attacked him. He tried to run
away but he tripped and fell and the baboon bit him all over the body. He later
managed to free himself and scurried to safety,” said the eyewitness.

When a news crew visited the hospital, the head of the training school, Clever
Ncube, took the news crew to the site of the attack.

“These animals are a real menace. Baboons are known for attacking children and
women who will be carrying foodstuffs but this is an abnormal case because
baboons are known to be afraid of men.

“Drought is the major cause because there is nothing to eat in the bush, hence these
animals are coming here to scavenge for food,” said Ncube.

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