“You have the boat as usual. We drive the boat with the bamboo poles. We know those areas where the depth of the water is very low and in the night the crocodile is there. The crocodile knows that the fishes are there. So he goes to that place. And together we are there. We go with a torchlight, a very strong one. We switch it on. We see the reflection of the eyes. It is very easy to see the crocodile this way.
“First, we go with a spear with a hook on it. Then the crocodile is shot at the centre of its head. It is important to make sure that you apply the spear properly because if you shoot the crocodile without securing the spear, it can go away. The spear is tied to a very long rope. Sometimes we go first with the gun. If it is shot well with the gun, it won’t be strong. If it is not shot well, the crocodile becomes very dangerous to the people. It can go to the areas where the women are doing the washing.
The meat is delicious. Very, very good. But is very dangerous to eat the crocodile meat. The crocodile has bile. The bile of the crocodile is so poisonous. The moment you touch it, you die. It is so, so strong. You have to be sure the crocodile was killed well and the bile didn’t contaminate the meat. Maybe you test it first with your dog. [laughter]
“The intention of killing the crocodile is getting the skin. The coating of the crocodile is very demanded. They use that skin to make shoes. There is a market for the crocodile. I learn these things from my father when I was a boy.
“Together with other boys we go to the bushes to hunt. I killed so many wildebeests with the dogs. And with the spears. The dog now is the gun. The wildebeests get tired. When he stops, that’s advantage we have. The dogs can chase the wildebeests for five kilometres. Just running. We can hear the dogs barking. Normally the wildebeest would never run such a long distance. When it stops, it wants to fight against the dogs. Sometimes it injures the dogs. Sometimes it can come for you.
“Some dogs are very stupid. When it sees the wildebeest, it runs to you. [laughter] But some dogs are very fierce. We know the good dogs. But that was before. Boys growing up now do not learn these things. It is not allowed.” — Fr. Placid