Father in Zimbabwe fistfights crocodile to save son from certain death

“I took the risk and dived into the water and joined the fight trying to force open the jaws with my hands," father says.

By Evan Bleier

An 11-year-old in Zimbabwe is alive because his father was brave enough to fight off a crocodile with his bare hands after the boy was seized by the beast while he was crossing the Nyaitengwa River.

Tafadzwa Kachere and his son, Tapiwa, are both injured but alive after the fight and are in recovery at Chitungwiza Central Hospital. Tapiwa’s left leg was amputated and Tafadzwa’s left hand is badly injured, but it obviously could have been worse.


“That is really a sad story and we are doing our best to help the two,” said hospital chief executive Dr. Obadiah Moyo. “We are monitoring the situation and we hope they will soon be okay.”

This is how Tafadzwa described the attack:

“When we were coming from the garden, I was walking in front and the boy was following me. After crossing the river, I heard the boy screaming for help and I rushed to rescue him. I could see him struggling to free himself as the crocodile kept on holding on to his leg.”

That’s when the father took action.

“I took the risk and dived into the water and joined the fight trying to force open the jaws with my hands. I failed to open the crocodile’s mouth and resorted to poking its mouth with reeds while seated on its back. I instructed my son to hold on to the reeds as I continued poking into the crocodile’s mouth until it released the boy.”

After freeing his son, the crocodile turned its attention on Tafadzwa. “I struggled with it until we both got out of the water and I was still on top of it. I poked its eyes several times until it released my injured hand,” he said.

He’s now asking for assistance to buy an artificial limb for Tapiwa.

“I appeal to well-wishers for assistance in the purchase of an artificial leg for my son. He still wants to go to school and up to now he still thinks he will get his leg back,” Tafadzwa said. “We lied to him that the leg was temporarily being removed for treatment purposes and I do not know how to break the news to him.”

[The Herald]

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