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28.09.2013 General News

Army officer dies in attempt to save goat

By Daily Graphic
Army officer dies in attempt to save goat
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An Army officer's attempt to save his goats from a hungry python took a tragic turn when the deadly reptile rather took his life.

Warrant Officer Class One (WOI) Arkhurst Donkor had returned from work around 4 pm and, as was his daily routine, decided to check on his goats when the unfortunate incident happened at the Takoradi Airforce Base on Thursday, September 26.

Even though pythons rarely attack humans, it is not clear exactly how the soldier died.

According to sources close to the family, the snakes had been attacking and killing animals in the pen and Donkor had in the past succeeded in killing a few of them.

However, on that fateful Thursday, his attempt to kill more of the snakes ended his life.

A family source said Donkor arrived home from work at 4 p.m. when his wife was just about preparing the evening meal.

As was his routine, he went to the pen to check on the animals but when he failed to return after two hours, his wife sent their two children with a lantern to inform him that supper was ready.

But the children returned with tears; their father was unconscious and could not utter a word.

The children returned to their mother to inform her about the state of their father. She dashed to the scene of the incident with neighbours who found him lying motionless.

'He was lying on the ground motionless with a dead goat by him. He could not move or say anything,' the source said.

There was also a sign of the python killing and dragging one of the goats into the bush.

Alarmed family members and neighbours then rushed Donkor to the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body has since been deposited at the hospital's morgue.

An official of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity said the area in which the pen was built was heavily infested with pythons that satisfied their appetite with domestic animals.

He said where one had those animals in a pen, the pythons would definitely visit and always try to snatch them.

By Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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