A 47-year-old Shamva female fishmonger survived a life threatening crocodile attack at Douglyn Farm, as more women are now flocking into the fishing business in the area.
For over 20 years, Emery Pondani, 47, has been surviving on these waters, until the fateful day when a crocodile wrestled with her in the water in full glare of her child.
Recounting the horror whilst receiving treatment at Shamva District Hospital, Pondani’s smile conjures the feeling of gratitude for escaping the jaws of death at the same time reflecting on her bravery in fighting the reptile.
“I was casting my nets in the water when I saw a wave. My son thought it was a big catch but suddenly the reptile clutched my breast and wrestled me into the waters. I recalled that when you put something in its mouth it becomes less effective so I stuck my hand and got this small wrist bite. We continued to wrestle and swum out before I got help to go to the hospital,” she said.
As a mother of 4 surviving on fishing, the encounter threatens Pondani’s means of survival but her colleagues remain adamant in the face of the increasing numbers of the predators.
“I don’t know if i can manage to go back again after this but i would love to, because sometimes we would fetch good money, but i heard that once one survives crocodile attacks they should avoid the waters,” said Pondani.
“Last week someone also got attacked in that area. I have escaped crocodile attacks three times in this place. Besides they don’t normally come this side, they only become vicious on the other side when they hatch their eggs,” said one Monica Mutopa a fish monger.
Shamva district medical officer Tendai Kamuriwo confirmed that Pondani is receiving treatment and recuperating well adding that cases of crocodile attacks are not that common in the area.
The Douglyn Dam is a cash cow in the fish farming business and to these licensed fish mongers.
However, it has also become a breeding area for crocodiles with reports that 2 dogs have also been mauled over the past week.