“Hey, whatever works” is one Australian cattle farmer’s apparent modus operandi when it comes to combating crocodile attacks. ABC Australia reports that Colin Deveraux, aged in his 60s, was due to be released from the Northern Territory’s Royal Darwin Hospital this week after spending almost a month recovering from the frightening reptilian assault along of the Finniss River. Deveraux said he had noticed fish in a pool of water left by the receding river and that “the dirty bastard” (i.e. the crocodile) latched onto his right foot while he was trying to catch some fish.
“It was a big grab, and he shook me like a rag doll and went back into the water, pulling me in,” Deveraux recalled. The farmer says he first tried to kick the more than 10-foot crocodile in the ribs, then got closer and more personal in his vigilante tactics. “I was in a very uncomfortable position… but by accident my teeth caught on his eyelid,” he says. “It was quite thick, like it was clinging to leather, but I pulled on his eyelid and he let it go.”
Deveraux says he was then able to escape, with the crocodile right behind him. By the time Deveraux arrived at his vehicle, the crocodile had abandoned its pursuit. Deveraux managed to stop the bleeding in his leg with a towel and rope, and his brother then drove him 80 miles to the hospital, where he received a skin graft and other care.
story continues below
Deveraux, who notes the incident lasted about eight seconds, says the attack made him reevaluate his routine. “I’ve been wandering around this swamp country for too long mending fences and living my life, but this has opened my eyes,” he told ABC. CNN notes that, according to government estimates, there are around 100,000 saltwater crocodiles in Australia. The latest fatal attack occurred in April, along the Kennedy River on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula, according to the BBC. (Read more crocodile stories.)