Tourists enjoying an evening cruise along the Zambezi River were shocked when they noticed crocodiles munching on the bottom half of a human.
As they sailed the river, which flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe, passengers reported the sightings to the authorities, but when the police arrived there were no remains left.
It is believed that the body was a poacher, after around thirteen were caught by rangers two days earlier in Zimbabwe, trying to kill the animals.
One of the men was shot and killed outright, Trevor Lane of the Bhejane Trust, a Zimbabwean conservation group, said. He added that local intelligence suggested only nine made it back over the river.
A local, who did not wish to be named, said: “All there was to see of him was his trousers.”
“We have had no information about anyone missing from villages around us, so we don’t think the man was a local,” he added.
“We strongly suspect it was a poacher,” the man told the South African Press Association. “Maybe he was wounded and tried to swim across the river.”
“National Parks Zimbabwe was tipped off by Botswana that poachers from Zambia were on their way,” he explained.
“It was a group of about 13 of them, and there was a shoot out. I suspect the man who was eaten by the crocodile was either injured during that shoot out and tried to escape through the water, or he was shot in the water, and was already dead when the crocodile ate him.”
Crocodile attacks are frequent in the country, and three children are amongst the victims in the past three months alone. One, a 17-year-old boy herding cattle, was snatched by a crocodile in February, while a three-year-old girl was eated by the ferocious beasts as she played by the banks of the Zambezi in the north of the country. A 16-year-old girl was also attacked on New Year’s Day in southern Zimbabwe.
But locals are fighting back against the very hungry crocodiles. Local paper the Manica Post reported last week that one beast from the Mazonwe river in eastern Zimbabwe, which had been blamed for the deaths of ten people in less than a year, had been killed by state rangers.