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St Lucia residents have been urged by iSimangaliso authorities to keep their gates closed and their boundary walls in good repair.
This comes after an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife employee, Anthony Swatton, who is in an induced coma in the intensive care unit at the Bay Hospital in Richards Bay, was attacked by a bull hippo at his home on Thursday night.
Swatton had emergency surgery after losing a leg in the attack. He remains in a critical but stable condition.
He was attacked by a hippo in his garden. Swatton had apparently heard his dog barking and had gone out to check when a large bull hippo that was in a walled corner of his garden attacked him.
The hippo had grabbed Swatton by his lower leg, flinging him aside. Its tusk pierced his abdomen before the mammal ceased the attack.
iSimangaliso spokesman, Terri Castis, said park staff had monitored the hippo late into the night as it entered several other properties. He said that it had not shown undue aggression or unusual behaviour.
“The animal has no obvious sign of injury. However, because of its proximity to residences, the situation will continue to be monitored and a decision taken regarding the feasibility of its relocation,” Castis said.
“Hippos are a regular feature on St Lucia’s streets and gardens and people are warned to bear in mind that they are dangerous.”
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