A 60-year-old man has described how he fought off a crocodile attack while fishing on his property.
A 60-year-old man has recalled his remarkable survival story after fighting off a crocodile in Far North Queensland by stabbing the beast’s head with a knife.
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).
He described to the department the terrifying attack that occurred on a remote section of the McIvor River, 20km north of Hope Vale, on the Cape York Peninsula.
The man was fishing on his property last week but 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.
“The animal then grabbed him by both feet and attempted to drag him into the water,” DES said in a statement provided to 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.”
As the beast dragged the man into the water he managed to retrieve his knife from his belt and stab the crocodile in its head until it let him go.
He then scrambled up the banks and drove himself to the Cooktown Hospital before being flown to the Cairns Hospital, where he is recovering.
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.”
The department urged all Queenslanders to be “crocwise” and adhere to the following warnings:
- Expect crocodiles in all Far North Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign
- Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe
- Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night
- Stay well away from croc traps – that includes fishing and boating
- The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks
- Stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure
- Camp at least 50m from the edge of the water
- Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, at campsites or at boat ramps
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
- Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead
- Report all croc sightings to DES by using the QWildlife app or by calling 1300 130 372