A 59-year-old woman has been attacked and killed by a hippo in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on Friday, 10 June.
According to the iSimangaliso Park Authority, three people went into the wetland on the western shores of Lake St Lucia and allegedly attempted to harvest Incema grass. The two other individuals escaped unhurt during the encounter.
‘Normally when the Incema season commences in May of each year, iSimangaliso and Ezemvelo engage with nearby communities including the Dukuduku community (where the deceased comes from) to explain the process to be followed during the implementation of the Incema harvesting for that season,’ the Park Authority said.
‘Part of this explanation includes making the community aware of the processes to be followed to ensure their safety from wild animals and to explain the duration of the harvesting season. This community briefing session also advises the community on how they will need to group themselves as there would always be a dedicated Field Ranger with them for safety reasons. When the harvesting commences each individual is issued a permit specifying the dates of the harvesting season as well as additional conditions.’
The Park Authority added that his year, it was decided that due to the high-water levels of the lake and surrounding wetlands which attract more dangerous animals, the Incema harvesting season will not take place. This was communicated to the communities.
Picture: Getaway gallery