A 40-year-old man was attacked and seriously injured by an ostrich behind a petrol station in the Bergview 1 Stop complex in Warden Street in Harrismith on Tuesday.
The man, believed to be employed by a cellphone and technology company, was attacked inside the animal enclosure.
It is believed the enclosure had at least five ostriches and some donkeys. The animals are kept on display and their enclosure is managed by the complex’s management.
Netcare 911’s Athlenda Mathe said the man was reportedly replacing a billboard poster when he was attacked.
She said Netcare 911 paramedics managed to stabilise him before taking him to a nearby hospital for further medical care.
“He was rushed to hospital in Bethlehem and was taken for X-rays. He had suffered serious injuries, especially on his upper body,” she said.
Another medical official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, was one of the first people at the scene and said the man had injuries to his chin and right shoulder, and complained of chest pains.
The official said the injured man was pulled out of the enclosure by a passer-by who also called the paramedics.
The man had reportedly gone into the enclosure with a colleague, but the colleague fled when the ostrich attacked.
Bergview 1 Stop property manager Irma Maritz, who was in the hospital on Tuesday for a health condition, said she had heard of the attack and had visited the victim, who had been admitted to the same hospital she was in.
She said the man had gone to do repair work when he was attacked by the ostrich.
“Normally what happens is that when people are coming to do work there, they would call in advance and get authorisation from me and we would move the animals.
“But that did not happen today. This (yesterday) morning, instead of informing me that they would be coming to work, the man arrived and called his manager, who told him that he should go into the area where the animals are,” she said.
“The animals were not put away and he met with an ostrich, and that is how he was attacked.”
Maritz said this was the first time that anyone had been attacked by an animal at the complex. No further details about the man were immediately available on Tuesday.
Source : Online