Schoolgirl Escapes Jaws of Death


By Surihe Gaomas


A 14-year-old girl escaped possible death after she was attacked by a crocodile in the Kavango River recently.

The crocodile left deep wounds on her frail body. She now walks with a limp and a twitched face as a result of the pain that she has to endure.

“I am very lucky to be alive. The pain is unbearable, but I am thankful to be alive,” whispered the young girl from her hospital bed at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango Region.

For 14-year-old Esther Ndara, what was supposed to be a normal day of washing her clothes in the Kavango River turned ugly when the crocodile thrust its open jaws on her thigh and dug its sharp teeth into her flesh.

All she recalls is the painful bite on her right thigh and blood gushing out of her body.

“I was busy washing my school clothes and bathing myself in the river with my hostel friends, but all of sudden, while I was in the water, I felt a sharp pain in my right leg and blood everywhere. I screamed for help and looked straight into the eyes of the crocodile,” said Ndara recalling the frightful day on which she thought she was going to die.

Looking into the “eyes of death,” Ndara struggled for her life. “I really thought then that I was going to die,” she said again.

For a brief moment, it let her go and that was her lucky break. She ran out of the water alive.

During the attack, all her friends frantically ran away leaving her to struggle alone without help.

“I ran straight home. I was bleeding a lot,” said the Grade 6 learner of Kahenge Combined School, with tears flowing down her cheeks.

When she got to the homestead, there was nobody. Help only came from nearby neighbours who saw her wounds and the shocked state she was in.

They then rushed her to the Nkurenkuru Hospital, some five kilometres away.

A week before Ndara was attacked, another villager was caught by a crocodile in the water. He was not so lucky and has not been found. The local police are still searching for his body.

Crocodile attacks are rife in the Kavango Region because of the massive water body in the Kavango River. Crocodiles are claiming both human lives and livestock.


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