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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Farmer aims high to escape crocs
David George said two crocodiles stalked him each night

An Australian farmer has described how he spent seven days up a tree in remote bushland to escape crocodiles.

David George, 53, said he was forced to take such drastic action after he accidentally strayed into a crocodile-infested area of Queensland.

He only had two meat sandwiches to keep him going, as crocodiles moved beneath his tree each night until his rescue.

Mr George said he decided it was safer to hold out for a rescue team than try to make a run for it.

His problems began after he fell off his horse while out in the northern Australia outback.

If I hadn't seen the crocs circling me... I would have made a push for it. But I knew the safest thing was for me to sit tight and wait
David George

Dazed and bleeding, he climbed back on his horse and hoped it would lead him home. It was only when he regained his senses he realised he had been taken deep into a crocodile-infested swamp.

"I had to get off the horse and fall on the long 8ft (2.4m) high swamp grass to clear a path, when I fell straight into a crocodile nest," he told Brisbane's Courier Newspaper.

"That spooked me. There were some monstrous tracks and the big ones are never far from the nest.

"I couldn't go back, it was too far and too dangerous, so I headed to the nearest high ground and stayed there, hoping someone would come and find me before the crocs did."

'Red eyes'

Mr George, manager of the Silver Plains cattle station near Coen in Queensland's far north, said he was stalked each night by two crocodiles that would sit at the bottom of the tree staring at him.

"All I could see was two sets of red eyes below me and all night I had to listen to a big bull croc bellowing a bit further out," he said.


Although Mr George's two sandwiches ran out after three days, he was able to get running water during the day and knew rescuers were looking for him as he could see helicopters in the air above his tree.

"If I hadn't seen the crocs circling me, and if I hadn't fallen into the croc nest, I would have made a push for it. But I knew the safest thing was for me to sit tight and wait," he said.

A chocolate bar, given to him by rescuers after being winched to safety, "was like a gourmet meal," he told the newspaper.

Country profile: Australia
09 May 07 |  Country profiles

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