How 49-year-old Man Survived Death After 6-hour Fight with Hungry Crocodile

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Namayingo|Daily Monitor: Isma Magongo, a 49-year-old man hailing from Kaliro District, has spent his entire life on Dolwe Island, where he has been engaging in fishing.

However, his life came crumbling in 2015 when he was attacked by a crocodile as he had gone to check on one of his boats that had delayed delivering a consignment of fish ashore in Namayingo District.

However, when he eventually received the news at round 9pm that the boat had eventually docked, a crocodile was lying in wait.

“As soon as my team left me behind to count and measure the fish, I decided to first wash my hands; but as I bent over (to wash hands), I was being dragged into the water by the crocodile,” Magongo said on June 8, 2024.

Magongo said he drew his experience in swimming and prior stories he heard from crocodile survivors, but still, the reptile kept dragging him deeper into water, an ordeal he says lasted about six hours before rescue efforts came by.

But by the time rescue efforts came, he said, the reptile had already bitten off one of his left fingers as he tried to clutch its mouth. 

“I managed to jump on its back and it kept rotating around the shallow water,” he added. 

The rescue team came with two boats and, using long sticks, beat the water until the crocodile released what was left of his hand, and rushed him to the nearest health centre, and to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital the next day for further management.

According to Magongo, he has been traumatised for the past 9 years, occasionally surviving on sympathizers, including fishermen he used to employ, to support his family after some of his businesses collapsed.

Bosco Galikuluya, a tour guide, said “quite a number of people have been attacked by crocodiles in the area, with some being fully eaten up and others left with deformities.”

According to him, majority of those attacked are individuals intending to fetch water by the lake shores or in isolated places.

“Crocodiles attack victims during the dry seasons, with most victims being male and falling prey when they are either swimming, fetching water or fishing,” he said, adding that a few weeks ago, a crocodile attacked and mauled a child who had gone to fetch water.

Namayingo District Tourism Officer Fred Benard Okumu warned that crocodiles attack people on the shores of Mwango Landing Site.

Dolwe Sub-county LC3 chairman John Bosco Nyembeze said crocodile attacks in the area have become “a very serious challenge and have stopped residents from going to collect water.”

According to him, after every three to five days, there must be an attack by crocodiles on either a fisherman, child or mother.

He added that residents of Mwandoda, Gorofa, Butanira, Kamwanga, Mwango, Kandege, Nyalo, Hakali, Kisumu and Rabolo villages, all on Dolwe Island, are prone to crocodile attacks.

“On May 26, a woman was attacked by a crocodile as she had gone to fetch water; fortunately, the reptile missed and grabbed the container,” Nyembeze said.

He added: “Just last week in Butanira village, a crocodile attacked a cow, before mauling a girl to death in Kandege Village. Crocodiles have invaded over 10 villages in Dolwe that need urgent attention by concerned authorities.”

Story Credit: Daily Monitor

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