Australia: Farmer survives crocodile attack by biting back

Deveraux said his ordeal began after he stopped at a billabong (lake) while he was travelling to build fencing near the Finniss River

An Australian farmer says he is lucky to be alive after repelling a crocodile attack by biting back at the animal.

Cattle producer Colin Deveraux has spent a month in hospital after being bitten by the 3.2m (10ft) saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory.

He told ABC News he bit the crocodile’s eyelid in his struggle to survive.

Deveraux said his ordeal began after he stopped at a billabong (lake) while he was travelling to build fencing near the Finniss River last month.

He paused by the lake after noticing fish swimming in the middle of its retreating waters. After he stepped away again, the crocodile “latched” onto his right foot, shaking him like a “rag doll” and pulling him into the water.

Deveraux told ABC he first tried kicking the crocodile in the ribs with his other foot – before biting the reptile back.

“I was in such an awkward position… but by accident my teeth caught his eyelid. It was pretty thick, like holding onto leather, but I jerked back on his eyelid and he let go.

“I leapt away and took off with great steps up to where my car was. He chased me for a bit, maybe four metres, but then stopped.”

Deveraux said he used a towel and some rope to stop the bleeding in his leg, before his brother drove him 130km (80 miles) north to the Royal Darwin Hospital.

“If he [the crocodile] had bitten me somewhere else it would have been different,” he said.

“It means I’ve got to change what I do. I’ve been walking around that swamp country too long fixing fences and living life, but it’s opened my eyes.”

According to the local government, crocodiles are the basis for an important industry in the Northern Territory and are protected by law.

They are considered to be of huge scientific and human interest as well as a valuable tourist attraction.

The last fatal crocodile attack happened in April this year on the Kennedy River in Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.


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