Zimbabwe School Girl Dies After Being Bitten By Black Mamba While In Class

Zimbabwe School Girl Dies After Being Bitten By Black Mamba While In Class

A Zimbabwean Form 6 schoolgirl died last week after she was bitten by a black mamba while in class. The now-deceased student, Melody Chiputura, died within 30 minutes of being bitten by the highly venomous snake.

The sad incident occurred at Rushinga High School in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland Central province.

According to The Herald daily newspaper, the 17-year-old schoolgirl had gone for sports with her classmates.

When she returned to the classroom after the sports, she was struck on the thigh by the black mamba, which had somehow slithered into the class.

The other students immediately killed the venomous viper. Unfortunately, Melody died within 30 minutes while being transported to a hospital.

She was buried on Saturday at Kanyemba village in Rushinga.

Melody’s father, Mr Joseph Chiputura, who serves as the councillor for Rushinga’s Ward 13, informed the Herald,

“We received a call 10 minutes after she was bitten. When we arrived at the clinic it was too late. This is hard to accept and it is painful. I don’t understand how a snake can get into a classroom and bite my daughter.

“My daughter had great potential, and she loved going to school. She had great hopes pinned on education, and we had to make sure we provided everything she needed. She was doing History, Psychology and Religious Studies, and her dream was to become a psychologist.”

Speaking on the shocking incident, Rushinga High School head Mr Christopher Murenga said,

“It was on Thursday and all learners went for sporting activities as per the school timetable. At around 3.50 pm the learners returned to their classroom as they prepared to leave for the day.

“She sat on her usual desk, the third desk to the wall, and two desks in front of her were occupied by her classmates. Immediately she screamed, saying something had bitten her. 

“The learners discovered the snake and everyone panicked with some jumping out through windows. Some of the boys took Melody outside and started calling for help.”

The headmaster went on to say,

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“Her parents arrived within 20 minutes in the company of someone with traditional herbs.

“At the same time we contacted Chimhanda Hospital and the doctor advised us to bring Melody and the snake which had already been killed by learners,” he said.

“She died on the way to the hospital. We are in shock we don’t understand where this snake came from. The classroom block is far away from suspected snake habitats.

The school’s head continued by saying the traumatised learners were receiving counselling following the death of their classmate.

Deputy provincial education director Dr Themba Mangwiro described the incident as shocking and unique

“This incident has made us realise that we need to improve disaster risk management which is not given enough attention in schools. We never thought such incidents can happen in a classroom.

“We need to teach our children that snakes don’t want to be disturbed. We heard that this snake wanted to strike another child,” he said.

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