CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian wildlife tour operator said he was lucky to escape more serious injury or even death when a crocodile lunged from a river and clamped his hand in its jaws.
Sean Dearly was attacked on Monday on the Adelaide River which is renowned for its “jumping crocodiles” — large crocodiles that rise vertically from the water to snatch chicken carcasses dangled from long poles extended from tourist cruise boats.
The 60-year-old Dearly spoke Wednesday about his encounter with a young 2.2-meter (7-foot) crocodile.
“I’m feeling all right. I’m a bit sore in the arm, of course, but, yeah, I survived it,” he told Nine Network television.
“It went for another bite and it actually released its grip and I just got my arm out as soon as it released. So I was pretty lucky it dropped back down in the water,” he added.
An ambulance was called to the scene but Dearly had already left in a car to make the hourlong journey to the nearest hospital at Palmerston, near Darwin.
“If it had been one of our bigger crocodiles, we’ve got Brutus and the Dominator up the river there, massive animals,” Dearly said, referring to Adelaide River crocs that are respectively 5.5 meters (18 feet) and 6 meters (20 feet) long.