A young man from Queensland, Australia, learned the hard way not to bite off more than he can chew after bragging that he could swim in a river known to be infested with aggressive crocodiles, according to a Fox News report on Sunday.
Queensland native Lee de Paauw, 18, was reportedly vacationing at a hostel in a northern Queensland town when he began telling other travelers at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday that he could swim in the river, according to British backpacker Sophie Paterson, who was also staying at the hostel.
Paterson and others dared the young man to make good on his claim, said Paterson, noting that they didn’t really think he would do it.
“It all happened very fast,” she recalled. “Pretty much, as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming. There was blood everywhere, and he just wouldn’t stop screaming.”
The young man was able to escape the attacking animal’s jaws, but his arm was severely injured. According to Queensland paramedic Neil Noble, De Paauw was lucky he wasn’t drowned by the crocodile.
Another man who went spearfishing alone in a nearby area the day before De Paauw’s mishap wasn’t as lucky.
Queensland authorities recovered what they believed to be the prior victim’s body on Monday. “The 35-year-old man’s boat was found anchored off Palmer Point, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Innisfail, on Saturday evening, with his spear gun floating in the water nearby,” said the report.
The crocodile population in Australia has boomed since they became a protected species in the 1970s. “Saltwater crocodiles can live up 70 years and grow throughout their lives,” according to the report, which noted that animals as long as 23 feet have been seen. “The proportion of large crocodiles is also rising.”
H/T: Fox News
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