Man killed by animal after watching soccer

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A 27-year-old man's afternoon at a soccer game with friends turned to tragedy when he was killed by a hippo.

Samson Shirinda was on his way home after watching the match on television on Saturday night when he was attacked by the hippo in Westfalia outside Tzaneen.

It was already dark and Shirinda apparently started running in the direction of his home.

It is believed he slipped and fell next to the dam.

The hippo is thought to have crushed him to death because most of his bones were broken.

"His body was found at the side of the dam on Saturday night by passersby who then alerted us," said police spokesman Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe.

He said nature conservationists at the municipality had told them the hippos had made a home for themselves in the dam and were not owned by the department.

"We have also placed notice- boards to warn people about dangerous animals near the dam," Ngoepe said.

"We will not kill the animals, but will continue to caution people about the dangers of using the path next to the dam, especially at night and in the evenings when the hippos come out of the water to graze."

Meanwhile, an elephant near the Phalaborwa Gate of Kruger National Park injured three other people last week.

The victims were visiting the park when the animal became agitated and trampled the car in which they were travelling.

The victims were admitted to hospitals in Limpopo.