Hippo capsizes riverboat on Shire River, Malawi

Posted on 17 May 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

A hippo attacked a packed riverboat on the largest river in Malawi, the Shire River, on Monday morning.

A riverboat packed with 36 workers and a one-year-old boy capsized after colliding with a hippo according to The Guardian. 14 people were able to swim to shore or were rescued by villagers who dived into the water. 23 people are still missing, and the baby’s body was retrieved by rescuers.

hippo riverboat Malawi

The incident took place in the Nsanje district in the southern region of Malawi.

Police spokesperson for Nsanje district Agnes Zalakoma told the BBC, ‘Officers have been on the scene since yesterday [Monday] when the accident was reported, searching for missing persons.’

The river is home to crocodiles and hippos and overcrowded canoes and boats have capsized in the past, leading to villagers drowning. However, it is very rare for a hippo to attack a boat in that area of Malawi.

The local MP Glenda Ganda has called for a bridge to be built over the river to prevent villagers from risking their lives every time they go to work. Unfortunately, ‘her appeal has so far fallen on deaf ears.’

hippo riverboat Malawi

Picture: GettyImages

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