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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 17:28 GMT
Crocodile-wrestling gran honoured
Saltwater crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are the world's largest reptiles
A 61-year-old Australian grandmother has received a bravery award for wrestling a giant saltwater crocodile as it dragged her friend from a tent.

Alicia Sorohan was awoken by screams while camping in Queensland and jumped on the 4.2 metre (14ft) reptile's back in an attempt to distract it.

The animal then turned on her, breaking her nose and almost ripping her arm off before her son shot it.

Northern Australia has an estimated 100,000 saltwater crocodiles.

Mrs Sorohan's arm was left "hanging by a thread" following the incident in October 2004.

She now has two metal plates and 12 screws in her arm but she still does not have full movement back.

'I still like crocs'

Mrs Sorohan was one of three people who were awarded Australia's Star of Courage, which recognises citizens for acts of outstanding bravery.

"We are privileged to have such role models in our society," Valerie Pratt, the chairman of the Australian Bravery Decorations Council told Australian Associated Press.

Mrs Sorohan said she was shocked at the nomination but said she "would do the same thing again".

"It was pretty scary. But it's one of those things - if you see someone in trouble, you've got to help them," she said.

The grandmother-of-two from Brisbane has since returned to the spot she calls "paradise".

"Everyone is back to normal now. You put it behind you," she said.

"I liked crocs before and I still do. They are a fascinating creature."

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