Man Uses Unusual Method to Fend Off Crocodile Attack

Australian farmer survives mauling after biting his predator on the eyelid
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2023 10:44 AM CST
The Croc Bit Him. He Bit Right Back
Stock photo of a crocodile.   (Getty Images/AppleZoomZoom)

"Hey, whatever works" is an Australian cattle farmer's apparent M.O. when it comes to fighting off crocodile attacks. ABC Australia reports that Colin Deveraux, in his mid-60s, was set to be released from the Northern Territory's Royal Darwin Hospital this week after spending almost a month recuperating from the frightening reptilian assault along the Finniss River. Deveraux says he'd noticed some fish in a pool of water left by the receding river and that "the dirty bastard" (meaning the crocodile) latched onto his right foot as he tried to catch some of the fish.

"It was a big grab, and he shook me like a rag doll and took off back into the water, pulling me in," Deveraux recalls. The farmer says he first tried kicking the 10-foot-plus croc in its ribs, then got more close and personal in his self-defense tactics. "I was in such an awkward position ... but by accident my teeth caught his eyelid," he says. "It was pretty thick, like holding onto leather, but I jerked back on his eyelid and he let go."

Deveraux says he was able to then flee, with the crocodile right behind him. By the time Deveraux got to his vehicle, the croc had given up on its chase. Deveraux was able to stop the bleeding in his leg with a towel and some rope, and his brother then drove him 80 miles to the hospital, where he received a skin graft and other treatment.

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Deveraux, who notes the entire incident lasted about eight seconds, says the attack has made him reassess his routine. "I've been walking around that swamp country too long fixing fences and living life, but it's opened my eyes," he tells ABC. CNN notes that, according to government estimates, there are about 100,000 saltwater crocodiles in Australia. The last fatal attack there happened in April, along the Kennedy River on Queensland's Cape York Peninsula, per the BBC. (More crocodile stories.)

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