The MEC for economic development, environment and tourism, Thabo Mokone, has dispatched a team of field rangers to Malamulele to track down a hippo and its offspring and escort them to a wildlife-friendly environment, following the death of a 63-year-old woman, reports Polokwane Review.
While the MEC admits the incident was unfortunate, he has called on residents to be vigilant and refrain from approaching stray wild animals when spotted.
The department’s spokesperson, Zaid Kalla, said the attack happened on Wednesday night, October 9 when residents in Magona/Gidjana spotted the hippo and its offspring and tailed the animal fueled by curiosity.
“Assuming the hippo felt provoked, threatened and overwhelmed by the animalistic need to protect its young, it attacked. Those around managed to swiftly escape while the 63-year-old woman was unfortunate and fell victim to the animal,” he said.
He added that authorities should be informed whenever a stray animal was spotted.
“Limpopo continues to take great pride in its environment and all animals dwelling within such environment and animals are known to enter residential areas. We urge communities to inform authorities rather than follow the animals and ignore the danger attached to such action,” Kalla concluded.