Pit Bull Mauls 3-Year-Old to Death, Witness Stabs Dog in Bid To Save Her

A pit bull mauled a 3-year-old girl to death before being stabbed by an eyewitness who tried to save the child.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in Gqeberha, a city in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, local media outlet News24 reported.

The child, Simamkele Kovu, was playing with other children outside her home in the Zwide area of the city when the dog attacked her.

A spokesperson for Eastern Cape police, colonel Priscila Naidu, said the dog had escaped from a yard through a broken gate prior to attacking the girl.

A local resident witnessed the attack and tried to stop the mauling by stabbing the dog several times.

But the child died at the scene after suffering several bite wounds to the neck and face.

Police said an investigation into the incident was being conducted, with Naidu urging local residents to keep their dogs under control.

"Police are urging residents to make sure that their property is secured and that their pet canines remain within their secured boundaries," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Police said the dog belonged to a teenager from the same street, who was not at home at the time of the attack, according to South Africa's Eyewitness News.

This is not the only incident involving dog attacks on young children that have made headlines recently.

Last month, a six-year-old boy suffered severe injuries after being attacked by three hunting dogs on a farm in New Zealand, the Otago Daily Times reported.

The incident occurred at a rural property near Manapouri, a small town located on the southwestern corner of the country's South Island.

The boy suffered severe injuries to his upper body and face and was flown by helicopter to a hospital where he was placed in an induced coma.

Another incident in November saw a 9-year-old boy mauled by two dogs while he was playing on a trampoline at a friend's house.

During the attack, which occurred in White Lake Township, Michigan, Hunter Heater suffered "massive lacerations and wounds" that were inches from main blood vessels.

In total, the boy was left with 75 bite marks on his body and he had to undergo six hours of surgery. He received around 200 stitches on his arms, face, legs and neck, and more than 40 staples on his skull.

"It is an image I will never [forget], his skin was just hanging and you could see his skull and his artery in his neck," the boy's mother, Rachel Heater, told WJBK.

Newsweek has contacted Eastern Cape police for comment.

An angry pit bull
Stock image showing an angry pit bull. A 3-year-old girl was mauled to death by a pit bull in South Africa on Sunday. iStock