Boy tries to save mom from killer croc

2012-04-04 10:05
Durban - A terrified 12-year-old boy from Kwamsame tried desperately to save his mother from the jaws of a crocodile on Tuesday by repeatedly hitting it over the head with his fishing rod.

Nelisiwe Thandazile Madela, 48, a mother of five, went fishing with her son, Siphelele, and an 11-year-old grandchild, Ayanda, at the St Lucia Estuary mouth.

Her husband, Thembinkosi “Lucky” Madela, said he taught his wife to fish when they first married 20 years ago and she had developed a passion for angling.

"We enjoy eating fish and prefer fish to red meat at home. We did not sell it, but stacked it in the fridge. My wife goes fishing almost every week and spends at least two days at St Lucia.”

Boys treated for shock

Mtubatuba police said Nelisiwe Madela and the two boys had caught three fish through the night.

At about 06:30 on Tuesday she caught a fourth fish, but it became stuck in the reeds as she tried to reel it in. As she tried to free it, a crocodile rose up out of the water, grabbed her by her right hand and pulled her in.

"After my wife’s tragic death I don’t know whether I will do it any time soon. I was completely horrified when I heard what happened and a relative rushed me to the scene, ” Thembinkosi Madela said.

The two boys had been treated by a doctor for shock.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park CEO Andrew Zaloumis said the last crocodile attack at the park took place seven years ago. “An immediate search was instituted by foot and boat, involving about 20 staff, but the crocodile repeatedly disappeared from view as the boat approached, hiding itself in reed beds.

"The searchers continued to pursue the crocodile until, over an hour later it eventually released the body and disappeared.”

Large concentration of crocs

The marks in the sand were testimony to the battle before the crocodile eventually pulled Madela into the water. A boat launch assistant heard the cries for help, and called the Ezemvelo conservation authorities.

Zaloumis urged holiday-makers and locals to remember that the St Lucia Estuary formed part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and had one of the highest concentrations of hippos and crocodiles in southern Africa.

“Crocodiles are opportunistic predators that generally target fish, but will readily take animals or people near the water’s edge. They tend to be more active in summer,” the authority said.
Read more on:    isimangaliso wetland park  |  durban  |  animals
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