Crocked! Rescuer saves mate - and shoots him

A man rescued his colleague from the jaws of a crocodile in northern Australia - but accidentally shot his unlucky colleague in the process, police said today.

Two crocodile farmhands were collecting wild crocodile eggs on a riverbank in Northern Territory yesterday when one of the reptiles grabbed Jason Green by the arm, the Northern Territory Police said.

"The male colleague shot at the crocodile, causing it to let go of the victim's arm, but a further shot hit the victim in the upper right arm," the statement said.

Mr Green's employer, a crocodile farm in the northern city of Darwin, sent a helicopter that flew him to a Darwin hospital for surgery.

Police Commander Bob Harrison said Mr Green's injuries were not life-threatening.

"He's going to be very sick and sorry and have a very good story to tell," he said.