By Vumani Mthiyane
A second-year male student nurse at Gwanda Nursing School was left with serious bruises after being attacked by a baboon.
The male student in his mid-20s whose identity could not be immediately ascertained was reportedly on his way from his 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 CITE news crew visited the hospital, the head of the training school, Clever Ncube took the news crew to the site of the attack.
“These are 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.
Ncube said they have engaged the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife officials who have tried in vain to get rid of the baboons.
“When National Parks wardens camped here, the baboons disappeared for a short time only to resurface when they left. I think these animals can sense danger or are afraid of gun powder,” said Ncube.
Contacted for further comment, Gwanda Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Retendo Manyati confirmed having received the report.
“Yes I received a report of a male student who was attacked by a baboon but was not severely injured though,” he said.
The baboons are also known for raiding homes and stealing foodstuffs.
The issue has been raised to the Minister of State for Matabeleland South province, Abedinico Ncube, who urged Zimparks officials to find alternative ways of dealing with the problem instead of resorting to killing the baboons.