Queensland: Man taken to hospital following crocodile attack

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A fisherman from Cape York, in North Queensland, Australia, feared for his life after he was assailed by a crocodile out of the blue. Aged 60, the gentleman was fishing on his property on the banks of a remote part of the McIvor River, near Hope Vale, last Wednesday.

According to the survivor’s testimonial to the authorities, he noticed a bull was standing at an ideal casting location near the river.

He attempted to shoo the bull away but as he cast his fishing line into the water, a crocodile lunged from the river.

Wildlife officers investigated the incident after the man reported to a hospital with injuries consistent with those inflicted by a crocodile, according to the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

“The animal then grabbed him by both feet and attempted to drag him into the water,” DES said in a statement provided to local media.

“He described grabbing a branch of a mangrove tree and holding on as long as he could while the animal attempted to pull him into the water by his boots.

“But the animal was too strong, and he had to let go.”

The man used his pocket knife to stab the reptile in its head repeatedly before he went into the water.

It suddenly let go and the man scrambled back up the bank to safety.

He then drove himself to Cooktown hospital and from there he was flown to Cairns, where he is recovering from his injuries.

DES said its officers inspected the man’s injuries on Tuesday and confirmed it was consistent with a crocodile attack.

“The crocodile was likely attracted to that location by the presence of the bull,” the department said.

“Due to the circumstances, including the remote location of the property and that there is no public access in the vicinity, DES will not target the crocodile for removal from the wild.”

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In the same region in August, two soldiers were reportedly swimming in croc-infested waters north of the Lockhart River on Friday afternoon when a similar attack occurred.

The defence department told reporters both men are army personnel but have not revealed if they were on or off duty when the attack happened.

“Our immediate focus is on providing the necessary medical treatment for the soldiers involved, and supporting their families who have been informed,” it said.

“The incident is under investigation, as such, defence will not provide any further detail.”

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said the men had gone for a swim in a known crocodile habitat.

Butcher told the ABC: “Two blokes have been swimming in croc-infested waters. One got attacked and the other one … tried to help.

“They’re found and in safe hands … I’m hoping that they’re well.”

Denis O’Sullivan from the Queensland Ambulance Service said the younger man was incredibly lucky to be alive, given the extent of his blood loss and reports the crocodile was about 2.5 metres long.

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