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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Colin Deveraux: Man who bit crocodile to save life, says it was like chewing on leather

Australian man Colin Deveraux says fish were acting strangely and moving towards the centre when he had stopped beside a lake

By Web Desk
November 10, 2023
A crocodile lying on the edge of a marsh. — AFP/File
A crocodile lying on the edge of a marsh. — AFP/File

While going towards the Finniss River to do some fencing, Australian cattle rancher Colin Deveraux was attacked by a crocodile, he told Australia's ABC News this week.

He claimed to have seen fish acting strangely and moving towards the centre of the pool of water when he had stopped beside a lake.

"The water had receded and it was down to this dirty water in the middle. I took two steps and [the crocodile] latched onto my right foot," Deveraux recalled to ABC News. "It was a big grab and he shook me like a rag doll and took off back into the water, pulling me in."

But the farmer was not going to give up without a fight, and he even attempted to bite the animal back after giving it a kick to the ribs with his other foot. He claimed that via a fortunate turn of events, he was able to bite the crocodile in a way that caused it to release him.

"I was in such an awkward position … but by accident, my teeth caught his eyelid. It was pretty thick, like holding onto leather, but I jerked back on his eyelid and he let go,” he explained.

According to him, the entire event took place in around eight seconds. All he had to do to get out of the predicament was release the crocodile, which allowed him to "leap away and took off with great steps up to where my car was" as the reptile followed closely after.

"He chased me for a bit, maybe [13 feet], but then stopped," Deveraux told ABC news.

He did, however, mention that he needed to treat his open wound from the crocodile biting him right away before doing anything else. He made a makeshift tourniquet out of rope and a towel to stop the bleeding.

Eventually, his brother managed to reach him and brought him to Royal Darwin Hospital, which is 80 miles north of his current location, according to the BBC. He has been residing there for the last month while he gets therapy for the injuries.

The main issue, according to him, with the wound was that "all the bad bacteria" from the dark waters the crocodile ascended from had contaminated it.

"[My leg] was opened up [badly] and over ten days in a row, I think, they had to flush it," Deveraux said, though he noted that he was lucky the crocodile bit him on his leg as opposed to anywhere else.

“If [the crocodile] had bitten me somewhere else, it would have been different,” he added.

He told ABC news that while the crocodile was “removed” from the area, the memories from the attack have stayed with him and have helped him look at his life differently: "It means I've got to change what I do. I've been walking around that swamp country too long fixing fences and living life, but it's opened my eyes."