Thursday, 19 November 2015

Rabies alert after donkeys maul villagers

TWO Filabusi villagers sustained injuries after they were mauled by donkeys in separate incidents that have triggered a rabies alert in the district. The two animals have since been put down.

Sithembiso Nungu, who works at a hardware shop at Filabusi centre, said the donkey attacked her as she was taking a walk with two of her colleagues at around 6PM on Monday.

“All I remember is that as we were approaching the shops, I heard something pushing me down and it bit me on the arm. I screamed but it continued to cling onto me. My colleagues tried to restrain it but it wanted to continue attacking me,” said Nungu.

“After the attack, I was bleeding and I went to hospital where I was treated and vaccinated as they suspected that the donkey has rabies.”
Michael Sidambe
She said although she does not believe in superstition, she was perplexed by the way the incident occurred.

“What boggles my mind is that I was putting on a long sleeved dust coat but it was not torn. However, I still sustained an injury on my skin. I wonder how the donkey could bite my skin and not leave a mark on the dust coat,” said Nungu.

The stray donkey was shot and burnt on Tuesday after the Veterinary Services Department was called in.

Michael Sidambe, 80, of Amazon area in the district said he was attacked by his neighbour’s donkey at his homestead as he was going about his daily chores on Saturday.

“I was going round the hut carrying chicken feed when the donkey attacked me. It bit me and I fell down as it clung onto me. I struggled to stand up and it kept on attacking me. A builder who was working nearby rushed to rescue me from the animal,” said Sidambe.

He said he was surprised by the attack by that particular donkey as he often took it on “loan” for farming purposes.

Matabeleland South provincial officer in the Department of Veterinary Services Dr Enart Mdlongwa said: “We had two rabid donkeys that attacked villagers in Filabusi, one of the two donkeys had rabies and it was shot dead. The other was showing signs of rabies and it was also shot and burnt.”

Dr Mdlongwa said his department cannot confirm that there was a rabies outbreak as they had sent samples to the laboratory.

Animals with rabies suffer deterioration of the brain and tend to behave bizarrely and often aggressively, increasing the chances that they will bite another animal or a person and transmit the disease.
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