Australian man survives crocodile attack by biting reptile’s eyelid

‘It was pretty thick, like holding onto leather, but I jerked back on his eyelid and he let go’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 08 November 2023 12:01 GMT
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<p>Representational image:  Man bites crocodile back to save himself in Australia </p>

Representational image: Man bites crocodile back to save himself in Australia

An Australian farmer bit a saltwater crocodile on the eyelid to save himself from being killed by the reptile.

Cattle herder Colin Deveraux was attacked by a 3.2-metre-long crocodile while he was on his way to put up some fencing near the Finniss River in Northern Territory last month.

The farmer, who was described as being a “veteran” in his sixties by public broadcaster ABC, had stopped by a lake when he noticed fish swimming in the middle of its receded water. As he began to step away a crocodile "latched" onto his right foot, he said.

"It was a big grab and he shook me like a rag doll and took off back into the water, pulling me in," he told ABC.

Mr Deveraux initially tried kicking the reptile in the ribs with his left foot and then, when that didn’t work, bit the animal 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," he said.

The farmer was able to make a break for it and says the crocodile gave chase for "maybe four metres" before it stopped. It all happened in about eight seconds, Mr Deveraux estimated.

Mr Deveraux got a towel and some rope to strap up his leg and stop the bleeding, before being driven by his brother to a hospital around 130km away.

"Biggest problem was having to clear out all the bad bacteria [from the wound] ... so all of the billabong water full of mud, goose s***, duck s***, and crocodile teeth marks," he said.

"It [my foot and leg] was opened up bad and over 10 days in a row, I think, they had to flush it," he said.

He has been in the hospital receiving treatment for the past month, and received a skin graft earlier in November. He is now able to feel his toes, which has given doctors hope he will be able to walk out of the hospital soon.

"If he [the crocodile] had bitten me somewhere else it would have been different,” Mr Deveraux 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."

Mr Deveraux claimed that the reptile that attacked him had been "removed", without going into details. Crocodiles are a protected species in Northern Territory.

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