Man Dies in Suspected Buffalo Attack

© Nigel Dennis

Roy Munks (65) died on Tuesday July 22, 2008, apparently from loss of blood from injuries sustained during an attack by a buffalo. The incident occurred at Makaya Lodge on the farm Schoongezicht outside of Hoedspruit. Responding to a call from the deceased's son, police arrived at the scene in the early evening to discover Munks lying dead in his bed.

According to the Hoedspruit Police, two farm workers on the property reportedly heard a scream at about 19h00, and on going to investigate, found Munks lying on the ground about 40 metres from the house. They carried Munks, who was apparently bleeding profusely, into the house and then alerted his family.

Partly due to the fact that the house is not electrified, has no outside lights and only paraffin lamps are used for lighting, the first respondents to the scene suspected a farm attack might have occurred. They secured the scene and alerted several senior police officials, who came to assist with the investigation.

However, after the scene was recorded by crime scene investigators, Munks' body was turned, revealing several large open wounds that were consistent with goring from a buffalo. There were obvious wounds to both arms, elbows and another wound on the buttocks, which had all bled copiously. The police had cause to suspect a buffalo as the farm workers warned them to beware of a buffalo while investigating the trampled ground where Munks was found by the workers.

Apparently a "troublesome buffalo" comes and goes from around the homestead, and has a reputation for chasing people. The police also say that the contents of the house appear to be undisturbed, which further rules out the likelihood of a farm attack.

In light of this tragic event, police superintendent Ramakgoakgoa calls on the community to alert the police about troublesome animals that are a danger to humans, so that they can work together with nature conservation to prevent further such incidents. A case of inquest has been opened for investigation, and Munks' body will undergo a post mortem to confirm cause of death.

By Melissa Wray

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