An 11-year-old girl in Zimbabwe wrestled an alligator, gouging its eyes out, in a desperate effort to save her younger friend, a report said.
Rebecca Munkombwe sprung into action when she heard the screams of a 9-year-old classmate who was attacked by the crocodile while swimming in a stream in the town of Hwange last week, according to Zimbabwe’s Sunday News.
“I was the eldest among the other seven children, I felt the urge to save her,” the girl told the newspaper. “So, I jumped into the water and swam to where she was struggling to float.”
The crocodile had latched onto the thigh of the younger girl, 9-year-old Latoya Muwani.
“I jumped on top of the crocodile and started beating it with my bare hands before using my fingers to poke its eyes until it released her,” Rebecca said.
“Once she was free, I swam with her to the banks where the other children pulled her out of the water. The crocodile fortunately did not attack us after it let off Latoya.”
Latoya was taken to a local hospital where she was reportedly treated for minor injuries.
“I was at work when I learnt that my daughter had been attacked by a crocodile while swimming,” the girl’s father said.
“For a moment there I thought of the worst before I learnt that she had survived after being saved by Rebecca. How she managed to do that I don’t know but am grateful to God.”
A local official said the issue has become more pronounced as people lose access to water.
“We have challenges with accessing water which forces women and children to use unprotected sources such as these crocodile-infested streams,” the official said.
“The women are usually accompanied by their children who get naughty and end up swimming in these water bodies.”
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