After falling into a pond at a sewage farm in Zimbabwe, a man fought off four crocodiles and believes he killed one of them.
Alexander Chimedza, from Nyamunga in Kariba, was looking for worms to use as fishing bait when he was caught by a waiting croc as he reached into a cluster of weeds to hunt for some.
“”The crocodiles must have been waiting for me because I was attacked the instant I touched the weeds,” he explained.
“At first, one of them tried to grasp my left hand, but I instinctively resisted; however, another grabbed my right hand.”
Alexander was dragged into the murky water, where one of the crocodiles attempted to murder him by performing the infamous “death roll.”
“I realized that if I resisted, my hand would break,” he told All Africa.
“As a result, I let my hand go in the direction it was turning.”
Alexander’s leg was grabbed by a third beast, and a fourth croc joined the feeding frenzy, biting his ankle and tearing his achilles tendon.
Fortunately, some of Alexander’s fishing companions were nearby and attempted to assist by throwing pebbles at the crocodiles.
Meanwhile, Alexander was trying to get his hand into one of the crocodiles’ throats. Crocodile have a “palatal valve” that prevent water from flooding their stomachs when they dive.
While experts recommend going for the croc’s eyes if you are bitten, an attack on the palatal valve is an effective last resort.
“As I thrust my hand into the crocodile’s mouth, some of the stones that were being thrown from outside must have hit the crocodile,” Alexander said.
“That, coupled with the large volumes of water that flowed into its mouth must have led to its death because it let me go and I saw it seeming lifeless afterward.”
After he had managed to shrug off the crocodile that had hold of his arm, Alexander made his way closer to the bank where his mates were able to pull him to safety.
He underwent emergency surgery, having five metal plates inserted into his body to help knit his broken bones. Most of them will be removed once the bones are healed but one, a platinum plate in his shoulder, will be a permanent reminder of his lucky escape.
He had numerous other procedures during his 40-day hospital stay, including extensive reconstructive surgery on his achilles tendon.
Alexander has now returned home, where his wife Primrose is looking after him while he tries to regain his mobility.
Very few people will be able to boast that they were Alexander, and to successfully fight one to the death is a rare and possibly unique achievement.
This article by Michael Moran was first published by The Daily Star on 30 March 2022. Lead Image: Four of the reptiles were concealed in the undergrowth where Alexander was looking for fishing bait (Image: Getty Images).
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