A 60-year-old Australian man escaped from the jaw of a sea crocodile and was dragged into the river by several stab wounds to the head with his pocket knife, local officials said on Wednesday (November 10). The Queensland State Department of the Environment says the injured man went to hospital himself after escaping from the deadly attack on the banks of a remote river on the Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia.
The man had gone fishing last week from Cairns to his property near Hope Whale, and he chased a bull off the shore to settle there. Then the crocodile struck. “He described seeing the crocodile a few seconds before it flew over him, knocking him over as he was about to throw his fishing rod.”The ministry said in a statement. As the crocodile’s jaws wrapped around his shoes, he grabbed a branch of a swamp tree in a desperate attempt to stay out of the river. But he was soon defeated in battle and dragged into the river.
“After entering the water, the man said he was able to take the knife from his belt and stabbed the crocodile in the head until he exited.” The man then went ashore and went to Cooktown Hospital for treatment. He was then airlifted to Cairns Hospital, where he is still recovering a week later.
Sea crocodiles, or “salt”, can reach seven meters in length and weigh a ton, characteristic of the tropical north of the vast country. Their numbers have exploded since they were declared a protected species in 1971, and recent attacks have rekindled debate over their control. Wildlife officials who interviewed him on Tuesday confirmed that his injuries were similar to a crocodile attack. They did not try to catch the reptile – it was pulled into the area by the presence of the bull – because it was so far away. This area, known as the “Land of Crocodiles”, is a scene of relatively frequent, but rarely dangerous attacks.