CROCODILE ATTACKS IN ASIA
Crocodiles roll their victims and pull them underwater and vigorously shake them. Anslem de Silva, Sri Lankan herpetologist, told Ceylon Today, “People are generally attacked by crocodiles, when they are knee-deep in water, or when they are fishing, washing clothes or bathing. Crocodiles normally observe a person for a couple of weeks or a month before attacking. But people tend to underestimate the intelligence of a crocodile, and think it is just another animal.”
According to Wikipedia: “Crocodile attacks on people are common in places where large crocodiles are native and human populations live. Only six of the 23 crocodilian species are considered dangerous to adult humans, and only individuals 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length or more represent a serious danger to humans, as smaller crocodiles are considered incapable of killing a person. However, even the smallest species can inflict painful bites requiring stitches if harassed. In addition, a small child may be of a similar size to the prey of some of the crocodilian species incapable of preying on adult humans.
The two species with the most well-known and documented reputation for preying on humans are the Nile crocodile and saltwater crocodile. Each year, hundreds of deadly attacks are attributed to the Nile crocodile in sub-Saharan Africa. On New Guinea, Borneo and the Solomon Islands attacks by saltwater crocodiles often occur. The mugger crocodile is also very dangerous to humans, killing many people in India every year. The American crocodile, while generally considered to be less aggressive, does occasionally kill humans and a handful of fatalities are reported and confirmed every year in Central America and southern Mexico. The black caiman is also responsible for several recorded human fatalities every year within the Amazon basin and the surrounding regions. The American alligator is responsible for human fatalities, with most occurring in Florida.
Crocodilians typically do not include humans in their diet, but in truth they will eat just about anything if given the opportunity. They will also defend their territory vigorously, especially during mating season. The best way to stay safe in these animals' habitat is to give the creatures space and exercise caution around water where they may live. In the event that you are attacked, you may be able to survive if you fight back strategically.
Avoiding Crocodile Attacks
Crocodile attacks are often at the shore. To avoid crocodiles stay away from the shore on areas where crocodiles might be. If you need to bathe or wash do so in a place with clear, shallow water, where a crocodile can not launch a surprise attack. Avoid swimming in places where crocodiles have been spotted.
Crocodiles have an attack zone of about two meters. To be safe sure you at least this distance away from the shore or rive bank. To check for crocodiles you are supposed to slap the water loudly and see if the snout of a curios croc appears on the surface of the water. If you tries do it with a paddle or stick to ensure you are a safe distance from the shore.
On how to stay out trouble with a crocodile and survive if attacked WikiHow advises: 1) Stay away from infested waters. Ask local residents and authorities about the presence of crocodiles in lakes and rivers, and don't go swimming outside of designated areas or in water where these animals are present. It's especially important that you avoid entering the water at dusk or at night, when the animals are harder to see and when they most actively hunt. 2) Be aware of your surroundings. If you're going to be in or around water in an area where crocodilians roam, it's imperative to remain vigilant at all times. Alligators and crocodiles can hide themselves very well in water, often keeping only their eyes and nostrils above water or submerging entirely. Do not dangle arms or legs off a boat into the water. Keep your distance from the water when walking on shore--crocodilians frequently attack fishermen and people gathering water on the shore--and avoid thick vegetation that provides these animals with good cover.
3) Stay at least fifteen feet away from alligators or crocodiles. Once you've spotted them, give crocodilians a wide berth. Fifteen feet is usually ample on land, but during mating season, it's a good idea to stay even farther away. Always stay far away from nests or baby crocodilians, as mothers are fiercely defensive. Crocodilians can produce short bursts of speed on land that can take you by surprise if you're too close. In the water, these animals are far faster than humans and feel more at home, so it's best to give them as much space as possible. 4) Avoid surprising the animals. If you see you're going to come anywhere close to a crocodilian, make noise by slapping the water with your oars when boating or blowing a whistle, for example. Stay away from riverbanks when coming around bends in a river. Crocodiles or alligators basking on the shore may attack in self-defense if you surprise them.
5) Run away from the animal. Despite your precautions, you might accidentally come dangerously close to a croc or gator. Fortunately, crocodilians rely on the element of surprise to capture prey, so it's extremely unusual for one of these animals to pursue a person on land. Crocodiles and alligators, however, are not as sluggish on land as some people believe, though they're not as fast as many other people think, either. The land speed record for a crocodilian is about 10 miles per hour (about 17 kilometers per hour) and these animals quickly grow tired when running on land, which means that as long as you can see it coming, any teen or adult in decent shape can easily outrun one of these animals. Run away from the water, as crocodiles and alligators seldom run on land unless they're trying to get back into the water and out of danger. The commonly-repeated instruction to run in zig-zags is useless: the quickest way to put distance between the animal and you is to run away in a straight line.
In some places crocodile fences called “Crocodile Excluding Enclosures (CEE) are used by people who live along rivers inhabited by crocodiles. The CEE is a simple device where three sides are fenced with wooden poles and is successful in segregating humans from crocodiles. In many places where crocodiles are seen locals are unaware of such structures exist.
Surviving a Crocodile Attacks
On how to survive a crocodile attackWikiHow advises: 6) Fight back if you're attacked. While the normal behavior of crocodilians is to bite a potential meal (you) and hold on until forcibly removed, they will sometimes (particularly when defending young or territory) deliver a single, quick defensive bite and then immediately let go. If this occurs, just try to get away from the animal as quickly as possible. In predatory attacks, however, as well as in some defensive attacks, the animal doesn't let go and will often try to drag a person into the water or underwater. Crocodilians can stay underwater for much longer than humans can, so the only hope of survival if you're attacked in this manner is to fight back and get away. Simply struggling and trying to pull free is usually futile and may induce the animal to go into an underwater death roll, during which an arm or leg stuck in the crocodile's mouth will likely be ripped off. A purposeful, deliberate attack on the animal is therefore a better option.
Go for the eyes. The most vulnerable part of a crocodile's or alligator's body is its eyes. Try to hit or poke the eyes with whatever you have handy: an oar, a stick, or a knife. Even your hands can be effective weapons if you can hit the animal's eyes. A Florida teenager recently escaped an alligator that had dragged him into the water by jamming his thumb into the alligator's eye.
Go for the nostrils or ears. While not as sensitive as the eyes, the nostrils and ears can be effectively attacked. A hard blow or a cut to either of these areas may cause the animal to release you. Many people have been saved from a crocodile's or alligator's jaws when other people have hit the animal's snout with a pole or club.
Go for the palatal valve. Crocodilians have a flap of tissue behind the tongue that covers their throats when they submerge in water. This flap prevents water from flowing into their throats and hence prevents the crocodile from drowning when its mouth is open. If your arm or leg is stuck in a crocodile's mouth, you may be able to pry this valve down. Water will then flow into the crocodile's throat, and animal will most likely let you go. Hard strikes to this valve may also cause the animal to release you.
Get medical attention promptly. A crocodilian's mouth harbors a tremendous amount of bacteria, and infection is almost guaranteed if a bite is not treated promptly.
Crocodile Attacks in Asia and Australia
In World War II it was reported that nearly a thousand crocodiles attacked retreating Japanese soldiers in Burma taking some 900 lives. A 1976 news dispatch from Indonesia reported 40 passengers on a sinking ferry were eaten alive by crocs. Scientists discount most of these stories. They say crocodiles prefer to sneak up on their victims and generally avoid a commotion.
Many of the crocodile attacks in Asia are by saltwater crocodile (esturine crocodiles). The same is true in Australia too. Of the 31 crocodile attacks reported there between 1970 and 1996, 18 were fatal. Most of the victims were swimmers although one man was pulled from a at night in 1993 and killed. In the 1970s a mine worker disappeared while taking a swim in Northern Australia. The police later found what was left of him inside an 18 foot crocodile.
In 1987, Ginger Faye Meadows, an American tourist, was cornered by a huge salt water crocodile at King's Cascade, west of Darwin. As she tried to swim to a beach 25 yards away the crocodile grabbed her in its jaws and lifted her out of the water and then pulled her down while her friends looked on helplessly. Another time a crocodile somehow found is way onto the streets of Darwin and terrorized the town before it was caught.
In the mid-1980s, a local guide named Terry McLoughlin was showing some tourists some crocodiles on a concrete causeway over the East Alligator River, about 100 southeast of Darwin. As tourists looked on in horror, McLoughlin lost his footing and when he fell a crocodile bite him on the head, killing him instantly. Because he was killed in an area where the Aboriginals consider crocodiles sacred, the animal was not killed and swam around in the East Alligator river for years afterwards.
In May 1992, an Iban girl, Dayang anak Bayang was killed by Bujang Senang at Pelaban River, another tributary of the great Batang Lupar River near Lingga in Sri Aman Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. The killer crocodile was shot to death by several police sharpshooters and Iban hunters after a four-hour ordeal. It was the biggest and oldest crocodile ever caught in the area.
Crocodile Attacks in Asia in the 2010s
In May 2012, Associated Press reported from Lampung, Indonesia: “Two deadly crocodile attacks have taken two Indonesian men in the same river in less than two months. The head of the local conservation agency says a saltwater crocodile reportedly swallowed a 20-year-old villager who was bathing Tuesday on a river on Sumatra island. Suprianto said the 35-year-old man killed last month was dragged away and his partial corpse was found four days later about two miles from where he was attacked.Both attacks were in Tulang Bawang district in Lampung province. Suprianto said. No crocodile has been captured and it wasn't known if the same animal killed both men. [Source: Associated Press, May 30, 2012]
There were three deaths from crocodile attacks in Sri Lanka in 2012. Ceylon Today reported: “The latest incident was reported in September, when a 12-year-old boy from Akuressa was dragged away by a crocodile when he went to bathe at the Nilwala River, with his grandparents. In early April, a young woman who had gone to bathe in the same river near Akuressa, was also attacked by a crocodile and killed. The 18- year-old woman, a resident of Udahaduwa, had reportedly gone to the river to wash her face, when she was attacked and dragged into the river by a crocodile. The woman’s body was found after a search operation was conducted with the use of boats.Later the same month, a young student, who went to wash his face in the Nilwala River, was attacked by a crocodile. Soon after these incidents, villagers in the areas attempted to catch the remaining crocodiles and relocate them. [Source: Risidra Mendis, Ceylon Times, October 23, 2012]
Soon after these incidents, villagers in the areas attempted to catch the remaining crocodiles and relocate them. However, eyewitnesses claim a few days after one of the crocodile attacks, carcasses of animals were seen floating down the river. The animals were suspected to have been poisoned by the angry villagers. Meanwhile, ecologist and IUCN, World Conservation Union, SSC, CSG member, Sameera Karunaratne, said people in the area know there are crocodiles in the river, but don’t take precautions when wading in for a bath. “Crocodile fences built along the river to prevent attacks from crocodiles are not up to standard and have resulted in attacks from the animals,” Karunaratne said.
In May 2012, Lewis Smith of The Independent wrote: “The body of one of two Britons who went missing after setting out to canoe along a crocodile-infested river in India has been found by a search team. Ian Turton's body was located four days after he was reported missing and two days after his abandoned canoe was discovered. The body of his friend, Michael Easton, was found a few days later. The cause of death remains unclear, but it is feared the two men were attacked by at least one of the reptiles as they negotiated the Cauvery River near Bangalore. At least one report suggested that their canoe had been found with holes in it caused by crocodile bites, in a gorge notorious for having a high number of the reptiles with a reputation for attacking people in boats.[Source: Lewis Smith, The Independent, May 26, 2012; The Times of London]
In April 2010, a 25-year-old woman from New Jersey was killed by a saltwater crocodile while snorkelling in India's Andaman Islands. Havelock Island, where the attack took place, lies 45 miles from the Lohabarrack Salt Water Crocodile Sanctuary. Her boyfriend caught the attack on film; the camera was recovered two days later along with her remains.
In December 2011 a 12-year-old boy was killed and eaten by a crocodile while playing with his friends in Wailolong River in eastern Indonesia. In January 2012 a crocodile swallowed a 10-year-old girl as she played in Wailolong River in eastern Indonesia. Her father and older brother were hunting turtles close by. At the time of the attack, her father was 5 metres (16 ft) away, but was helpless to save her. Associated Press reported. “According to local official Victor Mado Waton, who was quoted in the Jakarta Post, the girl, Juraida, was hunting for turtles with her father and brother in the East Nusatenggara province, when a giant saltwater crocodile sprang from the river and snatched her. Waton also said, on Saturday, pieces of the girl's clothing were found by villagers a few hours later. However, no traces of the child's body were found. The girl's father, who was just a few meters away from his daughter when the attack occurred, could do nothing but witness his child's death. [Source: Wikipedia; AP January 22, 2012]
Crocodile Attacks in Borneo
In March 2011, AFP reported from Bandar Seri Begawan, Burnei: A Thai man has been attacked and killed by a crocodile while fishing in Brunei, in a rare incident in the oil-rich sultanate, police said. Brunei police recovered the body of the Thai national after he was attacked by the crocodile the previous day while fishing with friends on a river. "This is a very rare incident," Brunei's regional crime officer Othman Ahmad told AFP, adding "we have advised the public not to go near the river". He confirmed reports that said the man's body was found floating in the river around 100 meters from where he was snatched by the animal. The reports said the last such incident occurred in 2009 when a crocodile attacked and killed a four-year-old boy while he was swimming with his father and siblings. [Source: AFP, March 8, 2011]
In July 2012, The New Straits Time reported from Saratok, Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo: “A sago log harvester, who went missing was found six kilometers from where he was last seen. Two fishermen, out collecting firewood, stumbled upon the mutilated body of Derahman Chali, 55, on the bank of Sungai Medang, a tributary of Sungai Batang Lupar. Derahman was believed to have been attacked by a crocodile. The attack, the second in less than three weeks, has now jangled the nerves of the people living along the river. In June, 42-year-old Siah Munsong, the wife of a longhouse chief, was attacked while she was bathing in the river. [Source: New Straits Times, July 9, 2012]
Derahman was washing his hands when he was attacked. His friend, Mohd Nor Bujang, 51, who witnessed the incident, said he saw Derahman frantically waving his hands and calling for help. "I told him not to wash his hands at the river. I told him to wash them with drinking water. He, however, insisted on saving the drinking water. He could have been alive if he had listened to me." He said he and Derahman frequently searched for sago trees along the river. “We had come here (the area) several times in the past, but we did not encounter any crocodile before. These sago trees are our main source of income. With the crocodiles' presence, it has become difficult for me to earn a living."
More than 50 personnel from the police, Civil Defence Department and Rela combed the area for Derahman after the attack. Beladin village chief Neng Kunding said the 8,740 villagers, who live along the river, were now at risk of crocodile attacks. "Most of us are fishermen. The river is our main source of income. But with such attack, our lives are in danger."
Teen Survives Crocodile Attack Near Kuching
In August 2012, The Star reported from Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo: “A teen has survived a crocodile attack at the Pasir Panjang beach near here. The 14-year-old boy from Poh Kong Park, Ashley Austin Chin who was with five friends at the time, suffered injuries to both his thighs in the incident that happened at around 7am. [Source: The Star, August 24, September 2, 2012]
One of his friends, who declined to be named, said that Chin was in the water when he felt something tugging at him from underneath. Chin had thought that it was someone from the group trying to be funny so he gave it a punch, said his 16-year-old friend. To his horror, the skin of the thing was rough and it bit him. Upon taking a closer look, it turned out to be a crocodile.
Chin then shouted for help and his friends responded swiftly. They tried to pull the reptile away and the tug-of-war went on for more than 30 minutes before it released Chin. Chins friend claimed that the crocodile was about 2 metes long. The group then rushed Chin to the Sarawak General Hospital. He survived but suffered injuries to his leg.
Afterwards beach, which was normally crowded on weekends, was deserted. A quick survey on a normally crowded holiday found only two families at the beach and no one was swimming. One of the people there said, "My family and I normally swim here, but after the crocodile attack, we just play on the beach. He said, "I like it here because it is beautiful and the sand and surrounding is clean," he pointed out.
Man Bitten by Crocodile During Toilet Break in Malaysian Borneo
In August 2012, AFP reported: “A construction worker was bitten by a crocodile during a toilet break in a river in Malaysian Borneo, but fought off the huge reptile and escaped with his life. Pai punched the two-metre (6.5-foot) crocodile in the eye after it bit him just above his right buttock, and despite being in incredible pain and soaked in blood managed to summon help, reports said Saturday. [Source: AFP, August 25, 2012]
The attack happened when the 32-year-old decided to take his chances in the river in Sarawak state despite knowing it was infested with crocodiles. The labourer, an Indonesian who works at a nearby construction site, had just finished relieving himself under a bridge when the animal bit him from behind. "Fortune favoured me when the crocodile let go after I punched it in the eye," he was quoted by Malay tabloid Harian Metro as saying.
"After being freed from the jaws of the crocodile, I found extraordinary strength to run and call for help even though my waist was extremely painful." Several newspapers ran pictures of Pai, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, lying on his stomach at the Sarawak General Hospital with bandages on his waist and hip area. According to The Star newspaper, he also suffered puncture wounds on the left side of his ribs.
Crocodile attacks have been a constant problem in Malaysia, with several deaths reported in the past few years. The Star reported that a 14-year-old boy was still recovering at the same hospital after a crocodile earlier in August. In 2010, a Malaysian businessman settled out of court for 43,000 ringgit ($14,000) after he was bitten by a crocodile while playing golf at a resort near the historic port town of Malacca just south of Kuala Lumpur.
Borneo Town Rejoices Over Capture of Killer One-Eyed Crocodile
In July 2012, a 3.6-meter-long one-eyed crocodile killed a woman while bathing in the river near her longhouse in Borneo. Reporting from Roban in Sarawak, Malaysia, Vanes Devindran wrote in The Star; “Yusri Indoi burst out in anger, screaming as authorities dragged a dead crocodile through the town here. The 12-year-old poured scorn on the reptile that was believed to have killed his grandmother, Siah Munsong, “Kamu bunuh nenek aku (You killed my grandmother),” he shrieked as he stomped on the dead crocodile. [Source: Vanes Devindran, The Star, July 3, 2012]
Behind him, his friends cheered as he vented his anger. When approached, Yusri told The Star that he had vowed revenge against “every living crocodile” on the day his grandmother was seen dragged into a watery death, as tears ran down his face. Refusing to say anymore, he pushed his way back to the reptile and kicked the reptile and poked its only eye.
Villagers and the authorities believed they might have caught the killer croc, judging from an earlier description — 3.6m long and 1m wide and probably with one eye as the other was lost in a fight between the reptile and the husband of the deceased on the day of the incident. “This was the description given by the victim’s husband who tried to get the crocodile off his wife at the time of the attack,” said Hasmi George, who was part of the hunting operation. He said they caught the crocodile at Sungai Nyiar which was about 3km from the victim’s longhouse, Sungai Anak.
He said the team, comprising villagers and personnel from the Forestry Department, had been scouring the murky waters since the fateful day. “We used a line bait. We caught the crocodile at around 8am and it’s a male,” he said. News that the killer crocodile had been caught travelled far and wide causing the sleepy town of Roban to come alive. People from other longhouses and settlements crowded around the little wooden jetty to catch a glimpse of the reptile and to rejoice.
Around 2pm, the boat carrying the reptile’s carcass arrived and the crowd erupted in excitement. From the old to the young, they closed in on the reptile as authorities dragged it for about 500m from the jetty to the town’s police station. Despite the sudden downpour, the crowd maintained its strength as handphones and cameras clicked away. This is the fourth crocodile caught since the attack. A similar operation took place mid-July last year to control the crocodile population in the area. It was initiated following the fatal attack on villager Mankay Gohen from Kampung Empelam in Kabong. That operation, which lasted for five days, managed to catch only one crocodile.
Rise in Crocodile Attacks in Borneo May Be Linked to Logging and Palm Oil
In April 2007, AP reported: “Logging and palm oil ventures are coming too close for the comfort of river-dwelling crocodiles on Borneo island, possibly resulting in more attacks on humans, a UN environmental expert said. Alexander Sayok, a scientist in charge of the UN Development Programme's forest management project in Malaysia's Sarawak state in Borneo, said he has noticedincreasing reports of crocodile attacks since early 2006, raising fears that the reptiles are becoming more violent. [Source: AP, April 25, 2007
"The habitat of the crocodiles has been threatened because land development activities for logging and palm oil are being taken right to the river banks," Sayok told The Associated Press. "There are fewer areas left now for the crocodiles to roam, bask or hide from humans." Crocodiles are common in Sarawak's long, winding rivers, and they are protected under Malaysian wildlife laws, which outlaw them being hunted or killed.
In previous years, attacks on humans averaged about one every four months. However, two crocodile attacks have been recorded in separate districts this month alone. A timber worker was reportedly snatched and killed on April 18 while he was bathing near a logging camp, while a villager had his hip bitten while paddling a boat early this month. Crocodiles generally do not attack people unless they are disturbed or hungry, Sayok said. He noted that development has jeopardized their food sources, with monkeys and deer dwindling because of deforestation and fish being killed by water pollution.
Sayok did not have statistics for crocodile attacks, and Sarawak Forestry Corporation officials said they could not immediately provide figures or comment. Sayok added that there were many crocodiles in the Loagan Bunut National Park in Sarawak, but no attacks on people have been reported there, probably because curbs on development have ensured the crocodiles have sufficient fish and breeding grounds. Conservationists say land clearing for logging and palm oil plantations has intensified in Sarawak in recent years, jeopardizing indigenous tribes and various animal and plant species. Government authorities have denied this,saying development activities are under control.
Crocodile Attacks in Asia in the 2000s
In January 2001, attacks were reported by mugger crocodiles on tribal population around the Neyyar reservoir in Kerala, India where muggers are periodically raised and released into the reservoir from the Neyyar crocodile centre. This rare display of aggression was found to be the isolated behaviour of an abnormal minority among the Neyyar muggers which are usually not known to attack humans.
In February 2006, a 9-year-old girl was killed by a crocodile as she crossed a shallow river in the western Philippines.
In April 2007, a 9-year-old Chinese child was killed in a crocodile pool at the Silver Beach holiday resort in southwest Guangxi region.[
Briton Killed by Crocodile in Borneo
In April 2002, Richard Shadwell, a 35-year-old from Sutton in Surrey, was killed by a crocodile in Indonesian Borneo. Patrick McGowan of Associated Newspapers wrote: “Described as a "free spirit by neighbours, he is thought to have been dragged beneath the water by a saltwater or estuarine crocodile, the world's largest reptile. Today consular officials were travelling to the Tanjung Puting national park where Mr Shadwell disappeared on Sunday as he swam behind a boat. Another man swimming nearby had felt something under the water and called to him to get out, but he disappeared before he could make it to shore. His body was found the next day. [Source: Patrick McGowan, Associated Newspapers, April 17, 2002]
Mr Shadwell's family said they were "deeply shocked" by the tragedy. They issued a statement saying: It was reported that two Canadian nationals were with him at the time. It was also reported that an Indonesian national swimming in the vicinity warned the others to get out. Richard cried out and then disappeared." Thousands of tourists visit the Tanjung Puting national park every year. It covers 753,000 hectares of tropical rainforest, wetlands and mangrove forests.
Crocodiles Stalks Tsunami Survivors in the Andaman Islands of India
After the Great December 2004 Asian tsunami, AFP reported from Port Blair, India: “Large crocodiles are lurking around broken moats and sunken piers, frightening survivors fleeing the tsunami-hit Indian Ocean island of Hut Bay, wildlife wardens say. The predators have left their natural habitat in creeks near the ravaged island and are crowding around damaged jetties, prompting coast guard personnel to take action to avoid attacks, the officials told AFP on Monday."Some of them are as long as 10 feet (3.3 metres)," forest and wildlife warden Mohammad Hanifa said after reaching the Andaman and Nicobar capital of Port Blair. Hut Bay is located island about four hours sailing time south of Port Blair. [Source: AFP, January 4, 2005]
"These animals are crawling over jetties or thrashing in the waters making evacuation very dangerous," said Ram Kishan, a forest guard from Hut Bay, one of the devastated islands of the Andamans archipelago. The two are among 15 personnel of India's Department of Environment and Wildlife who fled with their families after towering waves wiped away their homes on Hut Bay, where thousands are stranded without water or food.
"Earlier, the coast guard came on speedboats and they had to fight back the crocodiles to get people aboard and in my case they had to cradle my wife and children above water to avoid attacks," recounted Kishan. "But now the coast guard is using marine aircraft and the evacuees are relatively safe but the crocs are still crawling around the jetty which is partly submerged," the forest guard added.
Mohammed Zainuddin, another warden who outraced tidal waves with his family of four on a scooter, said despite his training in wildlife handling he was afraid of the snapping jaws while being transported to a coast guard boat. "After all these years in Andamans it was the first time I saw so much aggression in the crocs. Perhaps the tsunamis have wiped out marine life and these creatures are starving or maybe it is some other instinct," he said.
S.R. Mehta, Andaman's chief conservator of wildlife and forests, said he too was surprised with reports that the Andaman crocodiles have turned into man-eaters. "Yes there are a large number of crocodiles in middle south and north Andamans but in the past we have had no report of crocodiles attacking human beings as they just live in the brakish waters of the creeks," Mehta told AFP.
"It is possible they are eating dead bodies in the water but we have no such sightings as yet," Mehta said, commenting on reports the primeval beasts were targetting the wounded on the beaches of ravaged Car Nicobar island. Narayan Lal, another wildlife warden who fled Hut Bay, had another theory. "We too have received reports that the crocodiles have begun to consume bodies and that the beasts seem to have developed a taste for human flesh," Lal said.
Attacks at Crocodile Farms and Tourist Parks
In July 2012, Travel and Leisure reported: A crocodile has attacked a woman in a tourist area in Vietnam. The 60-year-old woman was feeding crocodiles at the Dong Xanh Tourism Area in Vietnam's Central Highlands when reptile bit off her hand. According to local media reports, she was standing behind the protective fence at the time, but leaning over into the croc’s enclosure. She was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to reattach the hand. [Source: Travel and Leisure, July 23, 2012]
Reuters reported: “A four-year-old Cambodian girl was eaten alive by crocodiles when she fell into a pond at her grandfather's farm, a newspaper reported. Siv Hong, granddaughter of 52-year-old Kart Lim, dropped an item of clothing into the pond from a bridge and slipped and fell in while trying to retrieve it, the Rasmei Kampuchea (Light of Cambodia) newspaper reported. The grandfather jumped into the crocodile pond to try to save the girl and was also attacked by the animals. A neighbor jumped in with a stick to rescue him, the paper said. The pond, in Kompong Thom province north of Phnom Penh, is home to some 30 to 50 crocodiles, the newspaper said. Some farmers in Cambodia raise crocodiles for their skins which are used to make items such as boots and bags.
Crocodiles Battle Elephants and a Chainsaw
In 2006, Associated Press reported: A 14.5-foot crocodile mauled a chainsaw a worker was using to clear up debris left by a tropical storm that lashed northern Australia. While the croc and worker were both uninjured, the saw's woodcutting days are over. Freddy Buckland was cutting up a tree that fell against a crocodile enclosure at the Corroboree Park Tavern, 50 miles east of the northern port city of Darwin when the crocodile, called Brutus, apparently took exception to the chainsaw's noise and attacked. "As he was trimming up the tree on the outside the croc jumped out of the water and sped along the tree about 18, 20 feet and actually grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands," said Peter Shappert, the tavern's owner. [Source: Associated Press, April 28, 2006]
"It must have been the noise. ... I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him. ... I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw," Shappert added. Neither Buckland nor Brutus were injured. The saltwater crocodile, which Shappert said he now is considering renaming Two-stroke in honor of the saw's fuel, appeared to like the snack. "He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out," Shappert said, adding that the saw was destroyed when it finally was retrieved from Brutus' giant jaws. Saltwater crocodiles have been known to attack small power boats, apparently because they do not like the noise of outboard motors.
Describing an attack by a crocodile on elephants along a riverbank in the Chobe National Park, Botswana, The Telegraph reported: “The 10 foot long reptile was lurking in the river when a the mother and two baby elephants approached to drink. The crocodile propelled itself forward closing its jaws on female's trunk. The elephant lifted the thousand pound predator fully out of the water, thrashed her head from side to side before slamming the crocodile back into the river. The mother escaped with minor injuries to her trunk whilst her young were unharmed. The crocodile disappeared beneath the water. [Source: The Telegraph. October 19, 2011]
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Text Sources: National Geographic, Natural History magazine, Smithsonian magazine, Wikipedia, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, Top Secret Animal Attack Files website, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, The Economist, BBC, and various books and other publications.
Last updated May 2014