A group of Malawian immigrants to South Africa was attacked by a hippopotamus in Limpopo River as they tried to cross using an illegal entry point.
A five-year-old girl has since gone missing since the attack two weeks ago, reported Zimbabwe’s State-owned newspaper, The Herald, on Monday.
The newspaper said some of the Malawians sustained minor injuries in the encounter.
The paper quotes Limpopo Police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto as having said that the girl and her mother were part of a group of 11 Malawians who wanted to enter South Africa illegally near Beit Bridge border post on the night of December 31 2015.
Said Otto: “Along the way, they were chased by a hippopotamus and some sustained minor injuries. They ran away in all directions and since then the five-year-old girl went missing.”
The mother of the girl reportedly tried to look for her without success for a week.
The paper reports that there are over 200 illegal entry points across the Limpopo River which illegal immigrants use.
Otto says some illegal immigrants using the unofficial routes are attacked by hippos and crocodiles while others drown or are waylaid by criminals who rob, rape or kill.