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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 13:53 GMT
Man bites crocodile
Crocodile
The nose is one of the softest parts of the crocodile

A businessman is recovering in hospital in Malawi after a dramatic escape from the jaws of a crocodile.

He is a very lucky man

Bob Mtekama
Police officer
Mac Bosco Chawinga, 43, was swimming in Lake Malawi in the northern district of Nkhata Bay to cool off after a day's work when he was attacked by a crocodile, police officer Bob Mtekama told the BBC.

"Both his arms were inside the full-size crocodile's jaws, and the beast was dragging him into deeper waters when he decided to fight back," Mr Mtekama said.

With his arms between the jaws of the beast and his legs pedalling helplessly under the huge reptile, Mr Chawinga decided his only weapon was his teeth.

Blood

He lunged at the crocodile and aimed at its nose, one of the few soft parts of the crocodile's body.

The bite was so deep and hard, Mr Mtekama said, that the beast had to let go of its prey.

With his arms and legs bleeding profusely, Mr Chawinga managed to swim ashore and lay on the hot sand.

Fishermen found him in a pool of blood and took him to hospital.

"He is a very lucky man," Mr Mtekama said.

Crocodile
Crocodiles kill as many as two Malawians a day

Mr Chawinga's heroic escape from the jaws of the reptile has amazed Malawians.

At the peak of the rainy season, at least two people die daily in crocodile attacks.

The bodies of the victims are seldom recovered and when they are, they are invariably mangled and mostly unidentifiable.

Mr Chawinga is in a stable condition in hospital, Gideon Ngwira, a clinical officer in the district, said.

He said he sustained deep wounds to his arms and legs and is expected to stay in hospital for a long time.

See also:

07 Feb 01 | Africa
09 May 00 | Africa
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29 Nov 02 | Country profiles
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