NPR

The Unbelievable Crocodile Problem In Mozambique

How did the country become a hotbed of croc attacks? The answers, found in the new book "Go Tell The Crocodiles," help explain why the country is mired in dysfunction and poverty.
Portrait of a Nile crocodile. Source: Matthijs Kuijpers/Getty Images

The hamlet of Bawa was in uproar. A pretty, 20-year-old villager named Amelia had vanished shortly after heading to wash her dishes in the shallow river that runs through this remote western corner of Mozambique. Crocodiles often lurk just below the surface, and over the last decade this community of about a thousand people had lost almost 50 of their number to attacks. So it seemed clear that Amelia was the latest victim.

But it wasn't long before blame was shifted elsewhere: Practically the entire village became convinced that Amelia's aunt, an older widow named Liveness Mandar, had turned a magic charm into a live crocodile and ordered it to kill Amelia. And then ... Mandar herself confessed to the crime.

The story of why Mandar chose to make by Rowan Moore Gerety.

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