Video: Crook handler narrowly escapes

Henry

A KwaZulu-Natal crocodile handler was rushed to the Victoria Hospital on Tongaat on Sunday afternoon after one of the reptiles grabbed him during a show in town.

Footage of the incident at Crocodile Creek, which shows the crocodile grabbing the man by his left leg, has since spread like wildfire.

Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) was called to the scene just before 15:00 to provide medical assistance.

Peter Watson, owner of Crocodile Creek, told RNews that the worker (27) underwent an operation on Monday to stitch up the wounds.

“We are grateful that he escaped the incident unharmed. A crocodile is nobody’s playmate – no matter how tame the animal is.”

According to Watson, the 80-year-old male did not “physically bite” the handler, but gnawed on his left leg.’

However, Watson says it is worrying that the worker did not follow the farm’s protocol.

“When someone enters the cage – whether to clean it, or to do repairs – it is a requirement that another worker must help to monitor the situation.”

This 80-year-old reptile named Hannibal is apparently aggressive because a 35-year-old female is in the same cage.

“I warn my workers on a regular basis not to tease the animals. A crocodile remains a predator.

“Any handler must realize that shows are not presented to impress visitors, but to educate them.”

According to Watson, this is the first incident, of which he is aware, in the last 50 years on the farm.

The farm has four guided tours daily to educate visitors about the reptiles.