Three men from Usakos in the Erongo region survived a vicious attack by a leopard on Monday and are currently being treated at a local hospital after sustaining injuries during the terrifying encounter.
The incident occurred at #Goabeb, a farm near Usakos, around 17h00.
Detective Inspector Daniel Gurirab yesterday said Esegiel Pitifo (48) came face-to-face with the leopard after it attempted to attack one of the goats he was herding. “Pitifo tried to rescue the goat and wrestle the leopard. He miraculously survived the attack and was only bitten on his arm,” Gurirab explained yesterday. It is not clear whether any weapons were used during the attack. According to Gurirab, Pitifo, despite the danger he was finding himself in,
he managed to use his cell phone and called two of his friends, Frans //Garoeb (39) and Enrico !Goraseb (40), for assistance. The two arrived in minutes and were also attacked by the leopard while assisting Pitifo.
“The two, during their commotion with the leopard, also got attacked. !Goraseb sustained serious injuries on the head and the right arm, while //Garoeb was bitten on the head and sustained an open wound,” Gurirab said.
The leopard, on the other hand, managed to get away from the three men.
Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda yesterday in a statement said officials are currently investigating the incident and tracking the leopard.
“We have, so far, established that the leopard has two cubs and the ministry is considering capturing and relocating the leopards to an area where they are less likely to cause problems,” Muyunda said.
He added the ministry is also assisting the victims in administering payments through the self-reliance scheme of the revised policy on human-wildlife conflict management for injuries sustained.
According to the revised policy, injuries with no loss of body part is paid at N$10 000; injury with loss of body part at N$30 000 and disability is paid at N$50 000.
“The ministry regrets the incident and fully sympathises with victims. We wish to appeal to members of the public to be cautious and avoid approaching dangerous predators in such a manner. Incidences such as this must be reported to the ministry, police or the nearest conservancy for intervention, without necessarily having risked lives like in this case,” he said.