Bull goes bad in the ’burbs

2010-05-29 00:00

A 64 YEAR-OLD woman is in shock after she was attacked by a bull at her home in Prestbury.

Bedelia Walters was flung over five metres after a bull ambled on to her property and became aggressive when she tried to chase it from the yard last week.

“He actually pawed the ground and began to shake his head at me,” said a visibly troubled Walters. “Then he charged and hooked his horn under my arm and threw me.”

Walters said the bull was about to charge for a second time when the family’s gardener scared it off.

Walters saw a doctor who administered a tetanus shot and prescribed a course of antibiotics to fight off infection.

She said she experienced severe pain while breathing after the incident, which the doctor attributed to bruised ribs.

“I am lucky to be alive, and the doctor said I could have been hurt much worse,” she said.

Residents in the area said sighting cattle on their pavements is not uncommon. The herds apparently move around freely, grazing on vegetation on the sidewalks.

Walters’s home is within walking distance from two schools, and schoolchildren are regularly forced to walk past the grazing beasts.

“I am so worried that one day one of the children will be hurt,” she said.

Since the incident, Walters said, she has been prone to panic attacks and sudden tearful outbursts.

“It’s a very scary thing, and I feel panicky and stressed because of it. I get the shakes and cry for nothing,” she said.

Pietermaritzburg SPCA’s Maureen Vida said it is unfortunate that cattle find their way into residential areas on a regular basis.

“Unfortunately it’s very common at the moment in Prestbury, as they come down from Sweetwaters, and during this time of the year they are allowed to graze on the roadside,” she said.

Vida said the bull may have felt threatened at being confronted, which would explain its aggression. “Usually they are frightened away easily. This is a very unusual thing to happen,” she said.

However, Vida cautioned that bulls which have either been injured or cornered often display hostile behaviour. Recently the SPCA was forced to shoot a bull that had been injured from an unsuccessful slaughter. The animal was charging at a house with people in it, ramming the windows.

Vida advised that individuals should never try to overcome a bull. “Call for help. One person is not enough, especially if it is a big bull that feels threatened.”

Alternatively, the SPCA should be contacted.

Residents in the area said that the rogue bull has been in the area for a while.

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