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Botswana in shock as snake ‘gobbles up’ Old Naledi child

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The story of a snake dragging a Standard 1 pupil into a muddy pond in Gaborone has left many Batswana in shock. Police in the Old Naledi location of Botswana’s capital were late Tuesday afternoon alerted to the horrendous sighting of a huge snake that grabbed the 6-year old girl into a pond by the roadside.

But Old Naledi’s Police Station Commander Superintendent King Tshebo has refused to confirm or verify the suggestion that the girl was dragged into the swampy trench by a huge snake as reported by the other child who was with the missing girl. The police chief says the search will resume in the morning of Wednesday after law enforcement officers, including army men, drained the place in an effort to retrieve the little girl. The search had to be halted because of darkness and rain that began to pour, as if fighting back efforts to drain the swampy water out of the trench.

The reporting child maintained that her playmate was dragged by a snake into the muddy water at around 5pm. It is unclear how the snake story came about with animal experts saying Botswana has no snake that can grab a child aged between 5 and 6 and ‘run’ away with the catch. The rock python is reported to be Botswana’s largest snake and yet such a reptile by its nature, would have been found at the same spot it pounced on the child. After a catch, it constricts its victim right there, suffocates and swallows whole. After that, the rock python would hardly move, meaning it could have been found in no time. A snake expert therefore refutes the snake story and implores the police to look at other possibilities of what really could have happened. For over three hours, the police and army men worked tirelessly to remove all the water in the small pound while multitudes of people gathered to witness the spectacle.

Shocked bystanders even suggested that the police check if the nearby BURS offices would not have any CCTV footage of what could have happened as the snake story might just delay the search in the right places. Some argued that the missing girl might have been grabbed by someone using some devious or cunning methods that might have fooled the other child into thinking that she saw a snake. Police chief Tshebo spoke to the media personnel on the scene, saying he was constrained to make reckless conclusions and declarations before investigations were concluded. At the time of the interview, he said they had not even identified the family of the missing girl and pleaded with the media not to say much in that regard.

Inevitably, social media has been awash with lamentations of curiousity with many questioning the veracity of the story. Superintendent Tshebo said more information on the incident will be shared on Wednesday morning.

SEARCH IN THE DARK: Police and army men searched into the night until rain forced them to stop

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