In a now-viral video, a zoo keeper was attacked by a massive crocodile in South Africa during a live show. The 16-foot croc, named Hannibal, mauled its trainer on Sept. 10 while spectators watched helplessly. A video of the attack has gone viral.
The incident occurred at Crocodile Creek farm, located in the KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa. Sean Le Clus, the crocodile trainer, was putting on a show for the audience with two crocodiles in their pen.
Le Clus was Hannibal’s caretaker for almost 30 years, but when he sat down on the croc’s back, Hannibal showed Le Clus how much he appreciated that. The massive reptile turned and bit Le Clus on the thigh.
Ironically, Le Clus made a comment before sitting on Hannibal’s back. He told the audience, “This is the only crocodile in South Africa that I can sit on his back talking.”
The other crocodile lunged at Le Clus for a moment, but he stood up, shooing that croc away. Hannibal saw his moment, turned his head, and landed a single bit on Le Clus’ upper thigh.
The keeper went tumbling to the ground, luckily away from the crocodiles. The audience was horrified, rightfully so, as they’d just witnessed a terrible attack. But, people on the internet seemed to have less sympathy for Le Clus. When Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation posted the incident on Facebook, viewers flocked to the comments section.
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“I have no sympathy at all. When are these people going to learn that these are wild animals,” wrote one Facebook user. Another commented, “He’s not respecting the power of that animal. I would bite him too if he were sitting on my back.” Another simply said, “No sympathy.”
There is no official report on the state of Le Clus’ injuries. The state of his confidence and ego, however? Well, you know what they say about hubris, after all.
This article by Lauren Boisvert was first published by Outdoors on 22 September 2022.
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