Durban - A third person has been savaged in the past week in KwaZulu-Natal by dogs of breeds known to be aggressive.

One of the victims, Mpho Mokoena, 32, died of her injuries.

The latest, a man in his sixties, fell victim to two pit bull terriers that strayed into his garden from their owner’s home a few properties away in Pietermaritzburg’s Langilalibele (Longmarket) Street yesterday.

It is believed he was airlifted to a Durban hospital after medics took him to Grey’s Hospital in the provincial capital.

Tristan Manning, the advanced life-support medic who treated him at the scene, said the victim had opened the door of his flatlet to investigate a commotion outside.

“These two pit bulls had been killing a chicken in the garden,” said Manning. “When they were disturbed (by him), they turned on him.”

Manning described the man as having been “in pain and distress” when he arrived.

“He had multiple bite wounds to the head, resulting in his scalp being split and peeled in certain areas. The inside of his left elbow was torn out, and his blood supply to his lower arm was cut off.”

He had lost 1.5Âlitres of blood.

The animals have since been humanely put down with the consent of their owner, according to the local SPCA.

Manning said that, when he arrived at the scene, police had fired a shot to scare off the dogs. The SPCA then caught them. Later they were put down.

“The owner came forward and signed papers to agree to their being humanely euthanised,” said Rose Stafford, senior inspector at the Pietermaritzburg SPCA.

The provincial department of health was tight-lipped about the victim.

The department's spokesman, Sam Mkhwanazi, would only say: “The department can confirm that a patient who was allegedly attacked by dogs is in a stable condition in one of its institutions.”

The police were not forthcoming about the attack at the time of going to press.

Last weekend, two pit bulls mauled 89-year-old Shaik Adam Hoosen on his way home from mosque in Phoenix.

As in the Pietermaritzburg incident, the dogs came from a nearby property. One leapt on to his chest. He fell and tried fending them off, but they kept biting his head.

Neighbours picked up the bloodied Hoosen from the verge and walked him home.

He was treated at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

On Monday, two Rottweilers and a bull mastiff killed Mokoena in Pietermaritzburg. The dogs belonged to her father.

ER24’s Russel Meiring said paramedics had been unable to immediately come to her aid, as the dogs refused to move away from her bloodied body.

Police shot the two Rottweilers when they made moves to attack them.

The bull mastiff was put down at the instruction of Mokoena’s distraught father.

Stafford urged people who sought to keep breeds such as those involved in the attacks, and especially pit pulls, to first research them.

“Know the breed. Know that you can meet the needs of the breed,” she said. “Check up on a puppy’s parents’ history. Make sure they been sterilised, which stops them from fighting over females and trying to get out of properties,” she said.