‘Witness’ wildlife columnist gored by buffalo

2008-08-13 00:00

Witness columnist Roddy Smith (58) is recovering in Pietermaritzburg after he had a run-in with a buffalo bull.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Smith said he suffered a nasty wound on his groin, a black eye, and a sore head.

The incident occurred in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park in the Zambezi Valley where Smith works as a guide and conservationist.

“I had just woken up on Saturday morning at around 6.30 am and I heard a group of monkeys sounding very agitated. I thought there may be a leopard or a snake worrying them so I went to have a look.”

Smith said as he was ambling along outside, he suddenly saw a buffalo close by. “It was probably half asleep — as I was — and as I stumbled across it I may have given it a fright.”

Smith said as the bull charged he tried to jump out of the way, but it hooked him in the groin and threw him on his head.

Smith shoulders all blame for his injuries. “It was just instinct for the buffalo to charge me in its efforts to defend itself.”

He was flown out to Lusaka where he was admitted to hospital and had some exploratory surgery on the wound on his groin.

He was released on Tuesday and flew back to South Africa for some “time-out” to recover at his parents’ home.

“I’m still a bit sore but I was pretty lucky,” he said.

Previously Smith was bitten by a hippo, but described his injuries on that occasion as “minor”.

He hopes to be back at work in the bush next week.

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